Nakayama’s gaffes

Was he so overwhelmed at becoming a minister that he lost control of his tongue? On his second day as the new minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, Nariaki Nakayama faced the media and let out a barrage of astounding verbal gaffes.

On the topic of foreign visitors to Japan, and asked how he plans to increase their numbers, he said, “Japan is a very inward-looking nation, you could say it is a homogeneous race …”

Only three months ago the Diet unanimously approved a historic resolution recognizing the Ainu as an indigenous people of Japan. It was supposed to have been the unified will of the Diet that pledged to protect the honor and dignity of the indigenous peoples, or was Nakayama opposed to it?

Nakayama retracted these comments, saying, they “led to misunderstandings.” However, his comments beg the question of his qualifications as a Diet lawmaker, not to mention as a Cabinet minister.

When he was education minister, Nakayama also was well-known for his gaffes, saying things like, “It is really good that history textbooks now have fewer references to comfort women and forced labor,” “there was no such term as comfort women to begin with.”