Photo/IllutrationTakashi Tachibana, head of NHK Kara Kokumin Wo Mamoru To, leaves the Upper House after a plenary session on Oct. 8. (Takeshi Iwashita)

Takashi Tachibana, a party leader known for criticizing Japan’s public broadcaster and drawing outrage over his videos, said he will resign from the Diet to run in an Upper House by-election in Saitama Prefecture.

Tachibana, head of NHK Kara Kokumin Wo Mamoru To (party to protect the public from NHK), made the announcement during a news conference at the Diet building on Oct. 8.

The 52-year-old currently holds an Upper House seat that his party, called N-Koku for short, won in a surprise victory in the July 21 Upper House election.

If he steps down, Satoshi Hamada, No. 2 on the list of party candidates after Tachibana for the proportional representation portion of that election, will fill the vacant Upper House seat.

“I now have a better chance of winning the by-election because the ruling coalition won’t field a candidate,” Tachibana said in explaining the reason behind his decision.

Official campaigning for the Oct. 27 by-election will kick off on Oct. 10.

Former Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda, 71, has announced his candidacy for the by-election without the backing of any party.

Tachibana served as an assemblyman in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, and in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward after working at Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK), the public broadcaster.

For the Upper House election in July, N-Koku campaigned largely on calls to “destroy NHK.” Tachibana has vowed to scramble NHK programs so that people who do not watch the broadcaster's shows can avoid paying subscription fees.

N-Koku gained about 987,000 votes in the proportional representation portion, which combines votes for the party and individual candidates. The tally was enough to send Tachibana to the Upper House.

His short time as a Diet member has been filled with controversy.

Tokyo police sent papers to prosecutors on Oct. 2 over allegations that Tachibana had threatened an assemblyman of Tokyo’s Chuo Ward in a video posted on YouTube. The assemblyman, who was elected with the backing of N-Koku, had left the party.

Tachibana said his words in the video do not constitute a threat.

In another video he posted on YouTube, Tachibana suggested using genocide to solve the problem of overpopulation in the world.

“Let’s just say that we should practice genocide against a race that reproduces like an idiot,” he said in the video.

The Saitama by-election was called after Motohiro Ono, a former member of the Democratic Party for the People, left the Upper House for his successful run in the Saitama gubernatorial election on Aug. 25.