Aso Mentions Japan as Single-Ethnic Nation, Apologizes Later


Tokyo, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso apologized Tuesday after apparently suggesting his country as a nation with only a single ethnicity, ignoring the Ainu minority in northern Japan.

"If my remark caused any misunderstanding, I apologize and correct it," Aso, who doubles as deputy prime minister, told a press conference.

Aso made the remark in question at an event in Nogata, Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Monday, while referring to a good showing by host Japan in last year's Rugby World Cup.

"There's no country but here (Japan) that sees a single ethnic group, a single dynasty continue for as long as 2,000 years," Aso said at the Nogata event, according to informed sources.

The remark could provoke a backlash after a new law recognizing the Ainu as an indigenous people took effect last year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press