Absent lawmaker to be expelled from Japan's Upper House

The Discipline Committee of Japan's Upper House has decided to strip a member of the chamber of his status as lawmaker, which is the most severe punishment available.

The decision came after opposition Seijikajoshi48 Party lawmaker GaaSyy, whose real name is Higashitani Yoshikazu, failed to attend any sessions of the chamber since being elected last year, as he resides overseas. He became known for his YouTube content.

The committee met on Tuesday and discussed how to deal with the lawmaker. Last week, he failed to show up to offer an apology at a plenary session, which had been demanded by the chamber as punishment.

Hamada Satoshi, another Upper House member of the same party, told the committee that it is illegal to expel GaaSyy because of his absence from sessions.

The committee voted unanimously to expel the lawmaker from the chamber.

The penalty is expected to be finalized at a plenary session on Wednesday. Upper House President Otsuji Hidehisa will then declare GaaSyy's expulsion.

This is the first time a lawmaker has been expelled due to a continued absence from sessions.