Japan PM sacks top aide over anti-LGBT comments
Tokyo, Feb. 4 (IANS): Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday announced that he has dismissed his secretary Masayoshi Arai over discriminatory remarks against the LGBT community.
Kishida told reporters that the comments made by Arai “cannot but force” the Cabinet to consider his future, calling the remarks totally unacceptable and incompatible with the policies of his administration, reports Xinhua news agency.
Arai, an elite bureaucrat from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) who serves as an executive secretary to the Prime Minister, said during an off-the-record conversation with reporters the previous day that he would “not want to live next door” to an LGBT couple and that he would “hate even to see them”.
He also said that if same-sex marriage is introduced in Japan, it would “change the way society is” and that “there are quite a few people who would abandon this country.”
Arai quickly retracted the comments on Friday after they were made public by the media and apologized, adding that the remarks did not reflect Kishida’s own thinking.
He was appointed an executive secretary to the prime minister in October 2021, when the Kishida administration took office, from his post as director general of the commerce and information policy bureau at METI.