Kishida fires senior aide over homophobic comments

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday fired a close aide over discriminatory remarks about sexual minorities, as the Japanese leader hoped to put yet another scandal in his inner circle behind him.

Masayoshi Arai, an elite bureaucrat who served as executive secretary to the prime minister, had said he would “not want to live next door” to an LGBT couple and that he would “hate even to see them.” Arai quickly retracted the comments Friday after they were made public by the media.

However, Kishida told reporters Saturday that he took the issue “very seriously.” Sadanori Ito, director of the economy ministry’s personnel division, will take Arai’s post.

“The remarks were outrageous and completely out of line with the Cabinet’s approach to respecting diversity and creating an inclusive society,” Kishida said.




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