Japanese Pol's Screaming Apology-Rant Goes Viral

Some even wonder if Ryutaro Nonomura is ill
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2014 9:37 AM CDT

A Japanese lawmaker has baffled the world—and provided the latest viral video—with his screaming, weeping apology. Ryutaro Nonomura, 47, a Hyogo Prefectural assemblyman, held a press conference Tuesday after a newspaper raised questions about why he visited hot springs 106 times last year using public money, the AP reports. Though the visits cost $30,000, they aren't illegal, but many called for an explanation—leading to Tuesday's spectacle, which also included Nonomura banging on the desk and shouting strange things like, "I'm putting my life on the line."

In total, Nonomura took 195 day trips—Hyogo lawmakers receive $5,000 per month for expenses including travel, but the travel is supposed to be for official business, and the trips he took to the hot springs resort town were outside his precinct. (He also may not have had the proper receipts, the Washington Post notes.) As the AP explains, the video—which has been viewed more than 2 million times so far—is also notable because Japanese politicians are typically reserved. "Many people are starting to demand that he resign," says a member of the Hyogo Prefectural assembly office. "He is usually not that emotional." (Read more viral video stories.)

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