Japan minister quits over execution remark, PM delays trip

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delayed his departure Friday to Southeast Asia’s three upcoming summits in an effort to sack and discover a alternative for his justice minister over a comment he made about capital punishment that was criticized as inappropriate.

Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi instructed reporters he submitted his resignation Friday to Kishida, two days after he made a remark at a celebration assembly that his low-profile job makes lunchtime information solely when he makes use of his “hanko” stamp to approve executions within the morning.

The comment rapidly sparked criticisms from the opposition and even inside Kishida’s governing celebration and will additional shake his authorities, which is already mired in an issue over its decades-long ties with the Unification Church, a South Korea-based non secular sect accused in Japan of problematic recruitment and brainwashing adherents into making enormous donations.

Hanashi, a member of Kishida’s personal celebration faction, was in workplace solely three months and would be the second minister to be dismissed for the reason that prime minister shuffled his Cupboard in August in a failed try to show round his authorities’s plunging recognition.

Final month, Daishiro Yamagiwa resigned as financial system minister after dealing with criticism for failing to clarify to his hyperlinks to the Unification Church.

Hanashi was slammed for giving the impression that he takes executions flippantly, at a time Japan already faces worldwide criticism for sustaining capital punishment.

He apologized Thursday throughout parliament periods.

“I apologize and retract my comment that confronted media studies that it made an impression that I used to be taking my accountability flippantly,” he mentioned.

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However media studies later revealed he had made related remarks at different conferences over the previous three months.

He repeated his apology and clarification earlier Friday however had not talked about his intention to resign.

Kishida apparently was pressured to urgently cope with the issue along with his Cupboard earlier than leaving on a nine-day journey to attend the ASEAN summit, in addition to Group of 20 assembly in Indonesia and Asia Pacific Financial Cooperation discussion board in Bangkok.