Japanese Diplomat in Seoul Ordered to Return Home after Gaffe

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Foreign Ministry on Sunday ordered Hirohisa Soma, deputy head of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to return to Japan, government sources said Monday.

The order was an apparent dismissal of Soma, who in July reportedly used a sexually explicit expression when talking about South Korean President Moon Jae-in's possible trip to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.

South Korea lodged a protest over Soma's remarks, which were also rapped by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as being "extremely inappropriate."

Still, the Japanese ministry issued the order as "a regular personnel change," given that Soma had served in the post for more than two years, a typical timing for a transfer.

A South Korean foreign ministry official welcomed the order, saying that Seoul had demanded that Tokyo act accordingly and hopes that Soma will leave South Korea promptly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press