National / Politics

Fired-up Hyogo city mayor sorry for calling official 'stupid' and asking him to 'burn down' building

Kyodo

A mayor in Hyogo Prefecture is in hot water for calling a senior city official “stupid” and suggesting he “burn down” a local building that stood in the way of the construction of a new road.

“All that has been reported by the media is true. I deeply regret such unforgivable behavior,” Akashi Mayor Fusaho Izumi said at a news conference Tuesday, after his comments came to light in the media in recent days.

In the heated exchange in June 2017, a raging Izumi reportedly told the official to burn the building, which was home to businesses and residences, albeit in a figurative manner.

Izumi, 55, said earlier in the day that he apologized on Monday to the official, acknowledging that his behavior was an abuse of power resulting from an angry outburst.

The outburst was reportedly sparked because authorities had failed to make progress in negotiations to evict the building’s tenants over a period of approximately five years.