Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday that his recent remark suggesting Japan follow the example of the Nazis in Germany in revising its pacifist Constitution would not affect Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics.
“I’ve already retracted the comment and I think it is now understood that I did not intend to justify the Nazi regime at all,” Aso, who is also concurrently finance minister and was prime minister for a year from September 2008, told a press conference.
He said he has no intention of explaining any more about his remark, which sparked criticism both at home and abroad, at international gatherings such as the Sept. 5-6 summit of the Group of 20 major economies to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Aso, who plans to attend the summit along with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, came under fire after he said in a speech late last month, “Germany’s Weimar Constitution was changed before anyone knew. It was changed before anyone else noticed. Why don’t we learn from that method?”
A few days later, he retracted the comment, saying, “I view the Nazis and the process in which the Weimar Constitution (was changed) extremely negatively” and “I deeply regret that the remark I made regarding the Nazi regime caused misunderstanding.”