A local assemblyman apologized Tuesday for saying last month that his north Tokyo municipality would "cease to exist" if the rights of sexual minorities were protected by law, after his remarks triggered a public outcry.

"I sincerely apologize to all the people who were hurt by my remarks," said Masateru Shiraishi of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in an assembly session in Tokyo's Adachi Ward, about a month after making the comments that sparked protests against the 11th-term politician.

"I regret my actions and will make efforts to accept different sexualities from now on," he said.