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Japan Deputy PM says sorry — didn’t mean to say Tokyo could learn from Nazis

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2013

Japan Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, who's been featured in international headlines for various public gaffes over the last few months, is now saying sorry for his most recent controversial charge — that Tokyo could actually learn a lot from Nazi Germany.

Specifically, Mr. Aso, who is also the country's finance minister, praised Nazi Germany's rewrite of the country's constitution and said Tokyo could glean insights from that process. He spoke during an address on Monday to a think-tank crowd.

"What I said in reference to the Nazi administration did not reflect my true intentions, and it is very unfortunate that it caused a misunderstanding," he said on Thursday, NBC reported.

Mr. Aso had also suggested Adolf Hitler's Nazi government was possessed of legislative skill.

His Thursday mea culpa included an explanation: It was an "inappropriate analogy," he said, NBC reported. "What I meant to say is that ... revising the constitution is something that has to be debated properly and calmly. But the fact that I used the Nazi administration as an example is something that I would like to retract."

Mr. Aso made headlines just a few months ago for suggesting that elderly people should "hurry up and die" to help the nation pay for medical aid for its younger residents, Agence France-Presse reported.

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