Diplomat disciplined for disparaging LDP lawmaker on Facebook

Kyodo

The Foreign Ministry slapped a ministry official with a disciplinary warning Wednesday for disparaging a ruling party lawmaker on Facebook, saying the posting damaged public trust in national civil servants.

“The Foreign Ministry will continue to draw its personnel’s attention to the appropriate private-use of social media” services, Press Secretary Kuni Sato said at a news conference.

According to the ministry, a first secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Colombo on June 28 posted a message on the Facebook page of Yasuhide Nakayama, a House of Representatives member of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The message was in response to Nakayama’s criticism against news anchor Jiro Shinbo, who in late June was rescued by the Maritime Self-Defence Force in the Pacific Ocean with a blind sailor after the yacht they were sailing foundered.

The ministry official’s reaction was critical against Nakayama: “It is extremely immature both as an adult and as a human being to publicly state such things by taking advantage of your position.”

Nakayama leads the LDP’s committee on national defense issues.

The official subsequently apologized to Nakayama in person, the Foreign Ministry’s Sato said.