Japan deputy PM in hot water over Hitler remarks

2017-08-30 15:35
Taro Aso. (Shizuo Kambayashi, AP, file)

Taro Aso. (Shizuo Kambayashi, AP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Japan's gaffe-prone deputy prime minister Taro Aso on Wednesday retracted comments in which he cited Adolf Hitler, but insisted he did not mean to praise the Nazi leader.

Aso used Hitler - responsible for the death of millions of Jews and others during World War II - in a bizarre reference about the importance of leaving a legacy in politics.

"What is important are results," the veteran politician told a meeting of his faction of the governing Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday.

"Even if the motive is correct, Hitler, who killed millions of people, was no good."

On Wednesday Aso, who is also finance minister, retracted the remark but said he did not mean to defend Hitler's motives.

READ: Japan's Aso won't quit over Nazi comment

International condemnation

"If you take my comment in its entirety, it is clear that my perception about Hitler is extremely negative and that Hitler was wrong in his motivation," he said in a statement issued by the finance ministry.

"It was inappropriate that I cited Hitler as an example and I would like to retract that."

It was not the first time Aso and other Japanese politicians have made casual references to Hitler and the Nazis.

In 2013, Aso drew international condemnation after he said Tokyo should learn from Nazi Germany when it comes to constitutional reform.

Aso - whose previous comments include criticising women who don't have children and saying old people should "hurry up and die" to save healthcare costs - later retracted the comments, but refused to quit.

This year Bank of Japan board member Yutaka Harada praised Hitler's economic policies even though they allowed him to do "horrible things".

The US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, an anti-Semitism watchdog, recently called for the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons to investigate Japanese TV celebrity cosmetic surgeon Katsuya Takasu after he praised the Nazis' scientific contributions and appeared to deny the Holocaust.

In 2016, a Japanese teeny-bop girl band triggered outrage after wearing military-style costumes which resembled Nazi uniforms at a Halloween concert.

Read more on:    japan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.