(CNN) A YouTube star who became a Japanese lawmaker has been stripped of his role after he failed to show up for a day of work in parliament.
In a plenary session on Wednesday, Japan’s parliament expelled Yoshikazu Higashitani over his continued absence, the first time it had taken such a step in more than seven decades.
Yoshikazu is known by his online alias GaaSyy under which he runs a YouTube channel that talks about celebrity gossip.
Elected to the upper house of the Diet of Japan in July 2022.
But he failed to reply to an “invitation letter” from the President of the Senate, was absent from the plenary session on 8 March and has not attended a single parliamentary session since his election.
Japanese parliamentary law stipulates that members of parliament must be present in the House on the day it is convened.
At the time of the March 8 plenary session, GaaSyy was out of the country, according to local media.
In a video, GaaSyy said he was going to Turkey to help in areas affected by the recent devastating earthquake, CNN affiliate Asahi TV reported March 6.
GaaSyy was previously asked to apologize for his absence but did not.
And the Senate Disciplinary Committee decided, unanimously, on Tuesday, to expel him from membership in Parliament, in the most severe possible punishment.
His expulsion is the first in 72 years and the third ever under Japan’s current constitution.
GaaSyy joins a member of the upper house of Japan who was expelled in 1950 and has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1951.
Japanese media reported that Gacy refused to attend parliament, fearing he would be arrested if he returned home.
He has been sued for defamation by various celebrities due to the content of some of his YouTube videos.
For at least one celebrity show video in particular, GaaSyy was asked by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police to participate in a voluntary interview.
“Internet practitioner. Social media maven. Certified zombieaholic. Lifelong communicator.”