October 19, 2017
Transcript of Press Conference Announcing MP Kensuke Miyazaki’s Resignation on February 12th
Below is a transcript of the press conference given by Kensuke Miyazaki on February 12th in the wake of a scandal involving an extramarital affair. Though the press conference was over an hour, the MP remained standing throughout. Below is his statement and the first three questions from the press including his answers and his closing statement:
I sincerely apologize for the distress I have caused due to the inappropriate actions that have recently come to light. Moreover, I would like to sincerely apologize to the people who trusted me and supported me. I apologize profusely to my constituents in Kyoto, senior MPs and my colleague MPs, supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party which I belong to, the Komei Party which has supported me, and all the other organizations that have supported me. (The Komei Party and the Liberal Democratic Party form the coalition government in Japan)I apologize sincerely to them. In addition, I am truly, deeply sorry to my wife (MP Megumi Kaneko) and everyone who has supported her. Lastly, regardless of for or against, I apologize deeply to those who have considered the paternity leave which I have advocated.
I will explain the sequence of events. The individual indicated by the media is the person who dressed me in a kimono on January 4th 2016, the first day of the Parliamentary session this year.
That was the first time I had met her. After that, I received a polite message from her through the social networking service (SNS). From there, we started corresponding. We corresponded primarily by phone and emails. I recall that we met three times, not including the initial meeting on January 4th. The last time we met was in Kyoto. At the moment, we are not in contact. I have admitted everything to my wife, and I apologized to her. Especially because she had just given birth to our son on February 5th, I feel that I have done something very cruel to her. I have deeply repented. It was a tough delivery. Since giving birth, my wife has had a difficult road to recovery. I would like to again sincerely apologize to my wife and child, and make up for it for the rest of my life. The reason why I had not been able to speak about the issue until today is that my thoughts were scattered, and I was confused as to the best way to handle the situation and sort out my feelings. I apologize for my delay.
Today, I would like to speak thoroughly about this issue. In regards to paternity leave, I believe that men playing an active role in raising children is a definite necessity in order to promote women’s active participation in society and to counteract the falling birth rate. I believe men having paternity leave would serve as the introduction of men playing an active role in raising children. As a result of me advocating this issue, this issue has been publicly debated. I felt that the momentum has been changing gradually, and I have had great hope for this progress. In spite of this, due to my carelessness, I have ended up throwing cold water on this issue. I feel indescribable remorse for this. However, everything about this situation was due to my lack of integrity. Although I am not entitled to argue the issue, I still hope that the positive flow of men having paternity leave will continue. I sincerely hope that the many leaders in Japan will cultivate the path after me.
Lastly, I started challenging the world of politics with noble ambitions. I started my political career in a district where the only people I knew were my four relatives. This situation was almost like falling with a parachute. When I think of the people in the third district of Kyoto who supported me, and the others who supported me, I feel deep regret and wish that I did not have to convey my apologies from this place. I would like to explain to each one individually. Although I will step down, I still have policies that I would like to accomplish. I have an idea of society that I would like to materialize. I would like to share my dreams with Japan. Although I will end my career early, these feelings have not changed. However, as a member of Parliament, the my impulsive actions and the things I have advocated, contradict each other. In regards to this, I deeply, deeply repent, and I have come to the decision to resign my seat as a member of Parliament. I will begin my life and career anew, and start again from scratch, hoping that one day I will be given the opportunity to pursue my dreams and politics once again. I apologize deeply, deeply to everyone and to my wife and child. I am truly sorry.
Questions and Answers
NHK (Channel 1)
You mentioned that you will resign and attempt to start over. Could you elaborate on your reason for resigning?
As I mentioned, saying and doing contradictory things is completely out of touch with the important principles of politicians. I caused it more difficult for citizens to trust politics. I feel that I have caused problems for my party, its affiliated organizations, and many individuals. In order to express my remorse, I feel that my resignation as a member of Parliament would be the best way to take a responsibility for the situation. Initially, many people told me to hang in there. Since I received these comments from my supporters, both political and personal, I have thought every day and night about my decision. I contemplated and contemplated, and my decision has changed a couple of times. I was thinking about it until the last minute. However, I finally decided to resign because in order to apologize to my supporters for my immaturity which made me unable to live up to their expectations. I would like to grow up, and I would like to return to politics one day.
TBS (Channel 6)
What did you discuss with your wife, MP Kaneko, in regards to your resignation after the story came to light? Could you tell me how will you behave towards your family as a father and a husband?
I remember it was the night of February 6th when I discussed the issue with her. When I looked at the faces of my wife and son, the sense of guilt and regret burst out of me. I told her everything, including things that were incredibly difficult to talk about. As a husband, first of all, I will make amends for this for the rest of my life. As to my feelings as a father, I would like to speak to those at the end of the press conference. Does that answer your question?
TV Asahi (Channel 5)
What do you think about your innovative policy regarding paternity leave for MPs….inaudible… what do you think about it now in light of recent events?
Yes. When I announced that I would take paternity leave, I said it as a member of Parliament. According to principles and law, it does not make sense for MPs to take child care leave. While there is opposition, times are changing. In reality, parents in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are raising children with feelings of desperation. I think it is difficult to to push the responsibility of work, giving birth to children, and raising them to women alone. I think what is preventing this change is the atmosphere of the society, a heavy atmosphere. I have received demands from citizens that lack of paternity leave for MPs be changed.
For now, I am no longer in a position to make the argument, but I would like to engage in raising my child as an individual.
Shunkan Bunshun, the tabloid which broke news of the scandal
First of all, why did you say that you do not know the name of the woman? ( On February 5th, a reporter of Shukan Bunshun asked MP Miyazaki in Kyoto questions about the woman, such as whether he knows her and if he was having an affair with her.) Also, have you ever met with the women in question privately or eat out together? Lastly, when was your wedding anniversary?
I said that I didn’t know her because I was upset. I am ashamed of myself for impulsively telling a lie. I apologize for my rude behavior at that time. I am sorry. In addition, to tell the truth, I was thinking of covering up the situation. I thought that if both of us kept silent, it would be OK. This was a shameful idea and a shameful thing to do. In regards to other women, during my 35 years, I am ashamed to say that I hurt a lot of people. I really would like to apologize to those people.
Were there such women after you were married?
As for women, I cannot deny that. I am sorry. May I answer the question of my wedding anniversary?
My wedding anniversary is between me and my wife. Would you forgive me if I don’t answer that?
I remember it, it is such an important memory for us, but it’s a matter of privacy. I appreciate your understanding. I am sorry.
The Concluding Statement
I apologize profusely again that I have caused great great distress to many people in spite of being a member of Parliament. As everyone has said, I do not believe that I deserve to wear the badge of an MP. My child was born on February 5th and I participated in the delivery. I wrote this on Facebook and on my blog. It was very difficult and I was deeply moved by it. Although I was moved by it, when I first looked into the face of my child, I felt joy and guilt at the same time. A child cannot choose their parent. Right after that, he was put in an incubator. I wasn’t able to hold my child that day. The next day, I went back to the hospital, and I held him. The moment I held him, I thought that a child cannot choose their parent, but a parent must change himself for their child. I would like to be reborn for my child, and I will never again make the same mistake. I would like to come back as a father. This is a truly cruel story, but someday my child will know tof this because one cannot turn back the clock. When I think of this, my heart is torn apart. But, I think that this is the seed that I sow and the rust that came out of my body. (Both are Japanese idioms that meaning one must be responsible for his action) Therefore, I would like to carry out my duties without forgetting the resolution which I made when looking into the face of my child. I cannot come up with another way to take responsibility. I would appreciate it if you would consider my wife’s health, my child’s privacy and future. This time, I caused a great amount of distress to everyone across Japan, and all over the world. I apologize to my wife and child from the bottom of my heart. I truly am sorry.