Nippon Ishin Expels Lawmaker Maruyama over War Gaffe
Tokyo, May 14 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) expelled House of Representatives lawmaker Hodaka Maruyama on Tuesday, over his recent suggestion of a war as a way to take back four Russian-controlled islands.
The quick action came as the party apparently gave consideration to its delicate relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is keen to settle the territorial row over the islands during his tenure.
The party, based in the western city of Osaka, also appears eager to minimize damage to its public image as it aims to realize its Osaka administrative reform plan.
Maruyama, 35, made the remarks in question while he accompanied former Japanese islanders on a visa-free visit for four days through Monday to the islands, which Japan claims were illegally seized by former Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II.
At a facility on Kunashiri, one of the islands collectively called the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kurils in Russia, on Saturday night, Maruyama asked a tour participant about whether the participant agreed that the islands should be recaptured through a war.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]