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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized Monday for a recent incident in which he heckled an opposition lawmaker, and promised not to make irregular remarks in the Diet.

“I apologize for making the irregular remark,” Abe told a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. “I will act prudently as the prime minister and will be sure to refrain from irregular remarks in future.”

Abe provoked an angry backlash from the opposition last Wednesday when he exclaimed during a meeting of the Lower House committee that a question by Kiyomi Tsujimoto of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was “meaningless.”

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan later agreed that an apology by Abe at Monday’s committee meeting would settle the controversy over the incident.

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