OSAKA - Naoki Hyakuta, a conservative novelist who is in hot water over his recent remarks calling for “destroying two Okinawan newspapers,” has hardened his stance even further, saying he is “seriously wishing” they would disappear.
At a lecture Sunday in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, Hyakuta told the audience that his controversial remarks made Thursday at a meeting of younger ranks of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party were intended as an off-the-record joke but that he now seriously wishes that The Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo would disappear.
According to attendees of the lecture, Hyakuta said the two Okinawan papers are reacting the wrong way and he will have to exchange fire for some more time.
Hyakuta directed his wrath at other newspapers as well, telling the audience that he became so angry over the latest incident that he later tweeted that the “Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun and Tokyo Shimbun must also be destroyed.”
After the lecture, Hyakuta tried to avoid reporters and hastily left the venue in a car.
Hyakuta, also a former NHK governor who has drawn flak for various inflammatory remarks, has publicly denied the 1937 Rape of Nanking really took place. In many aspects, he is considered an ideological ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.