Print Edition - 2017-04-27  |  World News Digest

Japan disaster minister resigns over quake gaffe

- Agencies, TOKYO

Apr 27, 2017-

Japan’s gaffe-prone disaster reconstruction minister resigned on Wednesday after remarking it was lucky the catastrophic 2011 earthquake-tsunami had hit a largely rural region rather than Tokyo. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was forced to apologise to residents of the devastated northeastern region of Tohoku, which is still recovering more than six years on, after Masahiro Imamura sparked outrage with his comments. “It was good that it (the disaster) occurred over there in Tohoku,” he said late Tuesday. “If it had been close to the capital zone, there would have been enormous damage,” he added, referring to the vast Tokyo conurbation. A massive undersea quake on March 11, 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into Japan’s northeastern coast, leaving more than 18,500 people dead or missing and sending three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. After submitting his resignation, Imamura said he deeply regretted the comments.

Published: 27-04-2017 10:34

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