Kevin Maher, a former senior U.S. diplomat sacked in March after allegedly making derogatory remarks about Okinawans, on Wednesday denied ever making the comments and accused the reporter who broke the story of breaching journalistic standards.

Speaking in Tokyo to promote his new book, "Ketsudan Dekinai Nihon" ("The Japan That Can't Decide"), Maher, a former director of the State Department's Office of Japan Affairs, said he also asked Kyodo News on Wednesday to reveal the full facts behind the article and asked the news agency to either publish a correction or retract the story.

The March 6 article by Kyodo staff writer Eiichiro Ishiyama claimed Maher, 57, described Okinawans as "lazy" and "masters of extortion," apparently referring to the financial subsidies the government pays Okinawans in exchange for hosting U.S. military bases.