Arrest warrant for expelled lawmaker requested by Tokyo police

Tokyo police have requested an arrest warrant for a former Diet member over allegations that he intimidated prominent figures through his YouTube channel.

GaaSyy, whose real name is Higashitani Yoshikazu, is a member of the opposition Seijikajoshi48 Party. He was expelled from the Upper House on Wednesday for failing to attend any Diet sessions since his election in July last year. GaaSyy says he resides in the United Arab Emirates.

A number of prominent figures have filed criminal complaints against him, saying they were slandered or intimidated by him in his videos.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police have been asking GaaSyy to answer questions on a voluntary basis since last December.

In January, they searched several places related to a company that manages GaaSyy's income from the video-sharing site.

Sources say the police decided to seek an arrest warrant because GaaSyy has not responded to their requests for questioning.

They say the police have also requested an arrest warrant for a company owner for his alleged involvement in the production and editing of the videos.

The police plan to ask the Foreign Ministry through the National Police Agency to order GaaSyy to return his passport after they obtain the warrant. They are set to arrest him as soon as he returns to Japan.