Apr 25, 2018
TOKYO - Education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has used an official ministry car to visit a "sexy yoga" studio in Tokyo run by a former porn actress, a weekly magazine said Tuesday, in another apparent scandal to hit the government.
The weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported in its online edition that Hayashi went to the studio -- where a female instructor gives a private yoga lesson and then oil massage to a customer in a compartment -- in the capital's Ebisu district on the afternoon of April 16 and spent two hours there.
The 57-year-old minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology has told a person close to him that he went there for "better health," a source said.
(Education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi bows in apology Wednesday.)
But Hayashi also said the visit was something "that could invite misunderstanding concerning the distinction between private and public matters," according to the source.
On the use of official cars, the education ministry says their use is primarily for smooth execution of official duties.
As for Hayashi's use of the official car to visit the studio, the ministry believes it did not run counter to regulations as Hayashi went there in between public duties.
However, the latest revelation could deal a fresh blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, which has been battered by a flurry of political scandals, including favoritism allegations against the prime minister and a sexual harassment claim against the Finance Ministry's top bureaucrat.
The weekly said the yoga studio has been shown on TV as a "hostess club yoga" because its instructors are former hostesses and models.
Kyodo News Plus is an online publication delivering the latest news from Japan. Kyodo News Plus collaborates with City-Cost to bring those stories related to lifestyle and culture to foreigners resident in Japan. For the latest news updates visit the official site at https://english.kyodonews.net