Remarks made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a Group of 20 dinner that the installation of elevators at Osaka Castle was a "big mistake" have been criticized as lacking consideration for people with disabilities and called inappropriate — especially ahead of the Tokyo Paralympics next year.

"Although Osaka Castle was mostly destroyed by fire due to chaos caused by the Meiji Restoration 150 years ago, the tenshukaku (the tallest tower) was faithfully restored about 90 years ago to how it was in the 16th century," Abe said at Friday's dinner, which he hosted as chairman of the G20 summit in the city. "But they made only one big mistake — they went so far as to install elevators."

Author Hirotada Ototake, who was born without limbs, said the remarks made him "feel very sad" in a Twitter post. He has been calling on public facilities to become barrier-free.