The Democratic Party of Japan and two other opposition parties on Thursday submitted a motion demanding the resignation of a ruling party lawmaker over his apparent racist remarks about U.S. President Barack Obama.
The motion was submitted to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, of which the lawmaker in question, Kazuya Maruyama, is a member.
During an Upper House committee meeting on Wednesday, Maruyama of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said: "In the United States, a black man has become its president. I mean, he is in a bloodline of black people, who were slaves."
The remarks drew harsh criticism from within the ruling camp as well. "He deserves expulsion from the party," former Home Affairs Minister Takeshi Noda of the LDP said.
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)