Nippon Ishin to Expel Lawmaker Maruyama over War Gaffe
Tokyo, May 14 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) leader Ichiro Matsui said Tuesday that the party will expel House of Representatives lawmaker Hodaka Maruyama over his recent suggestion that a war is required to take back four Russian-controlled islands.
Maruyama, 35, made the remark in question while he accompanied former Japanese islanders on a visa-free visit from Friday to the islands, which Japan claims were illegally seized by former Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II.
On Kunashiri, one of the islands collectively called the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kurils in Russia, Maruyama asked a tour participant about whether the participant agreed that the islands should be recaptured through a war.
Furthermore, the former economy ministry bureaucrat argued, "Don't you think things won't move forward unless we have a war?"
Maruyama is said to have been under the influence of alcohol.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]