Japanese Lawmaker Who Threatened to Punch Taxi Driver Resigns

A Kumamoto Prefecture legislator who previously made news for smoking in public is now out of a job after harassing a taxi driver.

Ideo Nobuo (井手順雄), 63, was being driven home drunk in a taxi when the driver took a wrong turn. Ide reportedly told the driver, 「うち殺すぞ」 (uchikorosu zo) – which, in Kumamoto dialect, means “I’m gonna punch you”. He then proceeded to kick the driver’s seat.

Ide’s manner reportedly improved when the driver said he would call the police. However, after the driver dropped him off at his intended destination, Ide whipped out his smartphone and took a picture of the driver’s tax license. He reportedly threatened the driver, saying, “If you call the cops, I’m suing.”

This isn’t the first time Ide was reportedly ill-mannered in his late-night rides home. Another taxi driver says the politician frequently rode without a mask and insisted on vaping nicotine while riding.

Video image of Ideo Nobuo riding in the taxi in Kumamoto. (Source: FNN via YouTube)

The entire incident was captured on the taxi driver’s internal drive recorder and ended up in the hands of the Japanese press. For a while, Ide steadfastly insisted he wouldn’t step down. But after criticism kept mounting, he tendered his resignation to the Kumamoto Prefectural Assembly.

Ide refused to say whether he’d attempt to regain his seat in the upcoming April 2023 election.

Ide is a veteran politician in Kumamoto, winning his first election in 1999. He’s been elected to the position a total of six times. He’s also served as chairperson of the Assembly.

However, he’s also no stranger to controversy. The former member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party left the party last year after an incident at the Koshien baseball stadium. While attending a match of the Japan High School Baseball Championship, Ide was caught vaping tobacco and drinking his own canned chuhai. Both activities are forbidden by stadium rules.

The taxi company says that, to date, Ide has still not apologized to the driver for his actions.


「ばかたれ! 俺は井手順雄だ」「うち殺すぞ!」…熊本ベテラン県議がタクシー運転手に暴言で議員辞職、タクシー会社が明かす事件の全真相。過去には別のタクシーで電子タバコもプカプカ…. Shueisha Online

甲子園で喫煙の熊本県議が辞職 「大変迷惑をかけた」. Mainichi Shimbun

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