This post was edited by gavingy at 2013-8-3 21:17|
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that postwar Japan has consistently supported peace and human rights.
“Cabinet ministers should fully understand their role and make sure to avoid misleading remarks,” Suga said Friday. He said Aso has already retracted the Nazi comment and doesn’t have to resign.
Aso often speaks in a meandering style that has gotten him in trouble for off-the-cuff remarks in the past. He has apologized previously for accusing the elderly of being a burden on society, joking about people with Alzheimer’s disease, saying the ideal country would be one that attracts “the richest Jewish people,” and comparing the opposition Democratic Party of Japan to the Nazis.
On Thursday, Aso insisted that he was referring to the Nazis “as a bad example of a constitutional revision that was made without national understanding or discussion …I just don’t want (the revision) to be decided amid a ruckus.”
The Nazis’ rise to power in the early 1930s amid the economic crisis brought on by the Great Depression was facilitated by emergency decrees that circumvented the Weimar constitution. So was Adolph Hitler’s seizure of absolute power after he was made chancellor in 1933.
It was not a matter of revising but of abusing the constitution.
Opposition leaders condemned Aso’s remarks, saying they showed a lack of understanding of history and hurt Japan’s national interest. Some demanded Aso resign.
Aso’s comments “sounded like praise for Nazi actions and are totally incomprehensible,” said Akihiro Ohata, secretary general of the Democratic Party.
“Minister Aso’s ignorance about historical facts is so obvious,” said Seiji Mataichi, secretary general of the Social Democratic Party. “I also want to remind him that praising the Nazis is considered a crime in EU nations.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a group dedicated to keeping alive the history of the Holocaust, urged Aso to “immediately clarify” his remarks.
“What ‘techniques’ from the Nazis’ governance are worth learning? How to stealthily cripple democracy?” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement.
In South Korea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said Aso’s remark “will obviously hurt many people.”
In China, which also suffered invasion and occupation by Japanese imperial troops before and during the war, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the comments showed that “Japan’s neighbors in Asia, and the international community, have to heighten their vigilance over the direction of Japan’s development.”
Hong also objected to Aso’s comments on visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates Japan’s 2.3 million war dead, including 14 wartime leaders convicted of war crimes.
Aso urged lawmakers in his speech to visit the shrine at times other than the closely watched anniversary of the end of the war on Aug. 15 to avoid diplomatic flare-ups.
Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/08/02/japans-aso-refuses-to-resign-over-nazi-comment/#ixzz2auds93oH