politics

Japan's Olympic minister resigns over 2011 disaster remarks

45 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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45 Comments
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Repugnant remarks. Good play by Abe. No, I do not support Abe, but o recognize smart politics when I see it.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

When is the "boss" going to start taking responsibility for the gaffes of his underlings? He is the one who chose them for their positions, he is the one who should ultimately take responsibility, this is Japan right?

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Good. I was so tired of his clueless remarks and general ineptness. Should have been sacked sooner. No, should never have been given that position to begin with as he was extremely unsuited to it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Its a bit unclear from the article if he has just resigned as Olympic minister, or from his role as head of cyber security strategy as well. It would be interesting to know what the bar for being forced out of the latter position is since we already know that “not knowing how to use computers” doesn’t meet it.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Abe has had these types of "problems" throughout his term as PM. Hell look at the crap Aso has said, and gotten away with, yet because of his position, and power, gets away with.

No one should truly be surprised by this. The LDP leaders have typically been out of touch with the people from about the week after their election, to about a month prior to their next one!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

And yet, in any other truly democratic country, abe would be a thing of the past. One only wonders what his other cronies really feel. Victim blaming is something that I simply do not understand about japanese culture. Expect more callousness in the coming days.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

At a Tokyo party for Hinako Takahashi, a ruling party lawmaker, Sakurada had stated: "Takahashi is more important than restoration. Please extend your assistance."

https://www.dw.com/en/japan-olympics-minister-yoshitaka-sakurada-resigns-over-comments/a-48275253

Sakurada was in charge of the 2020 Games, whose main theme is to promote reconstruction of the disaster-struck region.

Sakurada's comments have repeatedly revealed the true face of the LDP, which is why he's been sacked. If anyone believes the main theme of the Tokyo 2020 Games is to promote reconstruction in the Tohoku area they must be deluded.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

When is the "boss" going to start taking responsibility for the gaffes of his underlings? He is the one who chose them for their positions, he is the one who should ultimately take responsibility, this is Japan right?

"As prime minister, I offer an apology to everyone in the disaster-hit areas," Abe said. "I have a responsibility for having appointed him."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"Takahashi is more important than reconstruction"

"Cybersecurity chief" who does not use a computer

"disappointment" over Rikako Ikee's leukemia diagnosis

And only six months on the job? A random person off the street could do better than that...

14 ( +14 / -0 )

public figure rule #1: don't comment on victims and don't mention Hitler in any comments

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Many more who should resign!

Buddy-buddy business ..... that's what it is.

Wish the Japanese finally woke up during the next elections!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Sakurada joined Abe's cabinet as part of its reshuffle last year, quickly making a reputation as a gaffe-prone minister.

hard to find someone in that party who isn't a gaffe-prone minister

8 ( +8 / -0 )

a gaffe that had questioned his credentials

Gaffes don't ask questions. And as ever a gaffe does not nor has it ever meant stupidly revealing your true feelings. A gaffe is saying something like Prime Minister Shinzo b/c you're simply too dumb or lazy to learn a man's surname. Saying the election of depraved officials is more important than mere reconstruction in disaster hit areas, that's called an opinion. A profoundly stupid or a politically wrong-footed opinion, yes, but still not a gaffe.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Wish the Japanese finally woke up during the next elections!

Here is the problem. Because of the system that Japan has, it insulates individuals from having to face an electorate other than the one's in their own districts. They do not need to have "mass" appeal.

Far too many of these career politicians have very strong bases in their own prefectures and home districts, and carry wide appeal there, and that is all they truly have to worry about.

This guy will go back to his home, in Chiba and win.

He is about as far right, as far right can get here and sadly he probably doesnt think he said anything wrong!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshitaka_Sakurada

Affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi,[5] Sakurada attended a meeting on March 3, 2014 to seek a review of the Kono Statement and voiced his support for the revision.[6] In January 2016, he said that World War II comfort women were "professional prostitutes. That's business." He apologized later in the day.[7]

Sakurada is a member of the following right-wing Diet groups:

Nippon Kaigi Diet discussion group (日本会議国会議員懇談会 - Nippon kaigi kokkai giin kondankai)

Conference of Parliamentarians on the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership (神道政治連盟国会議員懇談会) - NB: SAS a.k.a. Sinseiren, Shinto Political League, Shinto Seiji Renmei Kokkai Giin Kondankai

Parliamentarians Acting to Protect Japanese Territory (日本の領土を守るため行動する議員連盟)

Sakurada gave the following answers to the questionnaire submitted by Mainichi to parliamentarians in 2012:[8]

in favor of the revision of the Constitution

in favor of the right of collective self-defense (revision of Article 9)

against the reform of the National Assembly (unicameral instead of bicameral)

in favor of reactivating nuclear power plants

against the goal of zero nuclear power by 2030s

in favor of the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (Okinawa)

in favor of evaluating the purchase of Senkaku Islands by the Government

in favor of a strong attitude vis-a-vis China

against the participation of Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

in favor of considering a nuclear-armed Japan in the future

against the reform of the Imperial Household that would allow women to retain their Imperial status even after marriage

9 ( +10 / -1 )

At the forum in Tokyo, Sakurada said that "I was aiming for the position of Prime Minister in the past, but I cannot speak English and I cannot use a personal computer, so I will give up on it.".

Another quote of his.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"Takahashi is more important than reconstruction." I do not understand the meaning of this sentence.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So, he has resigned because of his offensive gaffe. However, this also means the investigation into his fraud and bribery will be swept under the carpet.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Took him long enough to get rid of him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I do not like nit picking Japanese media. Sakurada is a self made man without education. He may have many good things in other aspects. I recently was in Tohoku for a month. I was depressed watching TV and listening to radio over there. They are still broadcasting sad stories about the disaster every day. We have to overcome tragedies in life.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

"Takahashi is more important than reconstruction." I do not understand the meaning of this sentence

Means Takahashi is more important those that suffered from 3/11 & that continue to suffer & more important re-construction of areas damaged by 3/11

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It's pretty clear that the reason he was forced to quit was because he tole the truth. From Day 1, when the LDP were covering the arses of their TEPCO cronies and spreading misinformation about the response of the Kan administration, right the way through banning news from Fukushima that might reflect badly on their ham-fisted and corrupt handling of the recovery (an Ice Wall in June, for God's sake?) it's very clear for all to see that the Olympics, and LDP profiteering from them, are of far more importance to the LDP than the victims who continue to suffer.

But you can bet your boots that the sheeple of Chiba will reeelect him by a landslide, because we live in a fiefdom, not a democracy.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Repugnant remarks. Good play by Abe. No, I do not support Abe, but o recognize smart politics when I see it.

That was the mother of easiest decisions to make.No smart politicking needed there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Repugnant remarks. Good play by Abe. No, I do not support Abe, but o recognize smart politics when I see it.

It would have been smarter politics not to make this addled old buffoon a cabinet minister in the first place.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

jcjapan - I was thinking similarly.

Claiming out-spoken comments as "Gaffes" seems to air-brush the intent and impact.

Gaffes are mistaken, ill-thought, embarrassing often blurted quickly comments. Stupid also plays a role.

So one may believe that Sakuradas comment(s) now and previously, fall into that category hence a "gaffe".

But as jcjapan noted and I also believe, he didn't make a mistake, he had thought about this and he never imagined it would be embarrassing.

No - this was / is real opinion. I'm sure he still feels the same now after resigning.

No mistake about it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Can’t wait for the olympics.

-the estimated cost suddenly changed from $7billion to$21billion.

-Abe lied about the state of Fukushima Daiichi NPP in front of the world

-Olympic ministers quits over bribing for games.

-France is investigating Japanese bribery for olympics

-major M9 earthquake predicted to hit Tokyo

-transport infrastructure unable to deal with the amount of visitors

AND now this!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Wish the Japanese finally woke up during the next elections!

Maybe more people need to vote. How many people do you know here that actually goes out and votes or even cares about the political climate?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It would have been smarter politics not to make this addled old buffoon a cabinet minister in the first place.

No argument here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, I wish him the best.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, I wish him the best.

He can’t use computers so won’t be able to read what you post here. I recommend faxing him your best wishes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sakurada will be elected next time again. He represents "red necks" of Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a truly despicable comment.

At least the guy's been sacked. But as for Abe resigning because of his own poor decisions in appointing geezers like this? Fat chance. Part of a worldwide tendency to avoid that kind of responsibility, I'm afraid.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Like the old saying goes: "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." Most people learn from their gaffes, but not this oyaji.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Elect a clown, get a circus. The sad thing is, he appears to believe it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All he had to say ;" this will help the recovery, not ; " more important than", simple gaffe, probably poor language skills, so yes parliamentarian is not his role, good call by PM.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe should resign. Oh wait, that will leave Aso in charge. The one that said he admires hitler because he passed bills in the wee small hours so nobody could debate it and old people should hurry up and die cause they don’t pay taxes. I guess we are better with Abe, he only lies and ignore the interests of average Japanese citizens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SchopenhauerToday  08:46 am JST

Sakurada is a self made man without education.

Really? Apparently he went to Meji University and has been an LDP hack active in local and national politics since 1987.

He may have many good things in other aspects.

"May have?" You don't sound very sure. Anyway, I think I have a few good things in "other aspects." Doesn't qualify me to be a cabinet minister.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

rainydayToday  11:15 am JST

"Well, I wish him the best."

He can’t use computers so won’t be able to read what you post here. I recommend faxing him your best wishes.

Or write them on a card and mail it to his office in a brown envelope with a wad of cash. That's what LDP people like.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hes a free man with a parachute package retirement, fake bow and apology, when others go to Jail ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank goodness for gaffes like these, it's the only way we can be rid of these incompetents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He's only resigned as the Minister. He still remains a member of the Diet, with or without his USB sticks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Q: What does Takahashi is more important than the reconstruction mean?

A: It means Takahashi is more important than those that suffered from 3/11 & that continue to suffer & more important re-construction of areas damaged by 3/11.

And what does that mean? You just repeated the question in your answer. Why is he more important?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He only said allowed what all of them are thinking behind slightly tighter lips. If reconstruction were more important, the Olympics would not have even been brought up in a bid for Japan, and certainly the devastation and victims would not have been used to try and secure it. Much more would be done, and we wouldn't still have more than 50,000 living in shelters while a stadium and Olympic facilities are under rush order to be built in a budget that is so massively over the initial stated on (which was still massive), that now taxes have to be raised, too.

What's amazing is that this is the guys FOURTH major gaffe that we know about and he's only being forced to resign now, I suspect because of proximity to the Olympics. He should never have been allowed to be cyber-security head when he doesn't own a computer, and should definitely have been kicked over his comments on Ikee and the potential loss of gold "she has caused".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

gotta love it when politicos actually say things they mean and not what they lie in public... funny how a moment of truth actually calls for resignation... i dont support any of them but it seems to me people has lost its vigilance with those "elected officials" and the public are nothing more than sheep

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank goodness he has gone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sakurada is a self made man without education. @schopenhauer

There's no such thing as a self-made man in Japanese politics. To be admitted, you have to have studied in the biggest Japanese universities (which in Japan means coming from a rich family), and preferably your family should be already made of politicians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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