LDP Lawmaker Ōnishi Apologizes for Cancer Patient Comment (News)
Tokyo, May 22 (Jiji Press)—Ōnishi Hideo, a House of Representatives member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, apologized Monday for a remark he made about cancer patients.
Ōnishi admitted that he said cancer patients facing work environments with passive smoke "don't have to work there" at a May 15 meeting of the LDP's health, welfare, and labor division, when measures to regulate passive smoking at eating establishments were discussed.
His remark came after LDP House of Councillors member Mihara Junko said that passive smoking causes pain to workers who are cancer patients. Ōnishi has expressed reservations about implementing new regulations to restrict passive smoking.
Speaking to reporters at the LDP's headquarters in Tokyo, Ōnishi said he offers a sincere apology for hurting the feelings of current and former cancer patients.
Ōnishi said he meant to say it is better for cancer patients to work in places that are healthier and free of passive smoking. He did not retract the remark.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]