Land minister Kazuyoshi Akaba posted, then deleted, a tweet on Tuesday criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept defeat in last week’s election.
“A sitting president making accusations of election fraud and insisting he will ‘never give up.’ Am I the only one seeing this and thinking, what kind of dictatorship is this? Where has our role model for democracy gone?,” Akaba wrote.
The Japanese government has already acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory based on U.S. media projections, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga congratulating the president-elect and his running mate Kamala Harris.
Akaba, a lawmaker who belongs to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s junior coalition partner Komeito, told a press conference that he deleted the tweet because he “did not want it to be misinterpreted.”
Tokyo has largely refrained from commenting on Trump’s refusal to concede and pursuit of vote recounts and lawsuits across several states.
The minister also said Tuesday he wrote the tweet because he looks to the United States as a “front-runner of democracy.”
“I felt saddened by the division being caused by the election, which is the basis of democracy,” he said.
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