Ishihara demands news story apology

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara on Tuesday demanded an apology from Kyodo News, claiming that Kyodo reported a distorted version of his remarks that some foreigners could riot after a major earthquake in Tokyo.

A proxy for Ishihara submitted a written demand for an apology to Kyodo officials, saying the article the agency transmitted on April 9 “dared to report the governor’s remarks by distorting them, recognizing the consequences.”

The demand said Kyodo should apologize and transmit an article to that effect, adding that Ishihara is prepared to take legal action if his demands are not met.

The controversy stems from a speech the 67-year-old governor gave April 9 to a Ground Self-Defense Forces garrison in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, on its 49th anniversary.

In that speech, Ishihara said: “Atrocious crimes have been committed again and again by ‘sangokujin’ and other foreigners who have illegally entered Japan. We can expect them to riot in the event of a disastrous earthquake.”

The Kyodo article did not contain the words “who have illegally entered Japan.”

“The governor’s remarks clearly indicated those who have illegally entered Japan and cannot be taken as expecting Self-Defense Force security measures against foreigners living in Japan,” the demand states.

Kyodo officials later issued a response, saying, “We do not think we made an inappropriate report but we are considering the demands.”