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BC-OLY--Japan-Olympic Minister Resigns

April 10, 2019
Japan’s Olympic minister has resigned after making remarks deemed offensive to the people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Yoshitaka Sakurada says he submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said he made comments that hurt the feelings those in the disaster-hit areas.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Olympic minister has resigned after making remarks deemed offensive to the people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a gaffe that had questioned his credentials.

Yoshitaka Sakurada said Wednesday he submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He said he made comments that hurt the feelings those in the disaster-hit areas, and just retracting them would not be enough.

Sakurada, at a party earlier Wednesday for Hinako Takahashi — a ruling lawmaker from Iwate, one of the prefectures severely hit by the disaster — said she is more important than reconstruction.

Sakurada, who also doubled as cybersecurity strategy chief, has said he does not use a computer.

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

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