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Saturday 23 August 2014

Japanese politician resigns after bizarre tantrum speech goes viral

Published 11/07/2014 | 10:48

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In this Tuesday, July 1, 2014 photo, Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura cries during a press conference in Kobe, western Japan. A video clip of Nonomura accused of dubious spending has gone viral, leaving many outraged and puzzled. The video shows Nonomura, 47, bursting into tears, uttering nonsensical phrases and banging on the desk. One site for the video drew nearly 640,000 views, as of Thursday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
In this Tuesday, July 1, 2014 photo, Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura cries during a press conference in Kobe, western Japan. A video clip of Nonomura accused of dubious spending has gone viral, leaving many outraged and puzzled. The video shows Nonomura, 47, bursting into tears, uttering nonsensical phrases and banging on the desk. One site for the video drew nearly 640,000 views, as of Thursday. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

A Japanese politician who was seen sobbing over dubious spending in a video that went viral has offered his resignation.

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Assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, a Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman, will have to wait to find out if the assembly will accept his resignation, spokeswoman Chika Fukuyama said.

Mr Nonomura burst into tears and screamed nonsensical phrases when he was asked at a news conference last week about the number of trips he took to a hot springs at taxpayers' expense.

The video had drawn 2.7 million views as of Friday on just one site. His wailing spawned several spoofs, some of which juxtaposed his voice with rock music and jazz piano.

Calls for his resignation have grown after it emerged Mr Nonomura visited the hot springs 106 times last year, using public money, and reporting it as political activity.

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