Tokyo's Governor Apologizes

 Tokyo's Governor Apologizes
Tokyo's outspoken conservative governor Shintaro Ishihara apologized Tuesday for describing Japan's deadly earthquake and tsunami as “divine punishment.”

“(The remarks) hurt victims, Tokyo residents and victims,” Ishihara, 78, who is seeking re-election on April 10, told a news conference. “I deeply apologize.”

On Monday Ishihara said Japanese people were becoming “greedy” and highlighted the case of people who continue to pocket their parents' pensions by delaying death notifications.

“It is necessary to wash away the greedy mind ... by using tsunami,” Ishihara told reporters. “I think that it is divine punishment.”

He retracted the remarks as the nation works frantically to avert a nuclear meltdown and fights to rescue survivors from Friday's natural disaster.

Ishihara, who has also served in the national parliament, on Friday announced his candidacy for a fourth four-year term as governor of the vast capital city.

He is known for his nationalistic views and has denied Japanese atrocities before and during World War II such as the Rape of Nanking.

He first gained prominence in the West for co-authoring the 1989 book “The Japan That Can Say No,” which called for Japan to assert itself against its former occupying power and security ally the United States.

Source: Chinapost