Japan's Lower House denounces 'war' gaffe lawmaker
NHK -- Jun 07
The Lower House of Japan's Diet has unanimously adopted a resolution urging a lawmaker to decide whether to give up his seat over a controversial remark about four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.

Hodaka Maruyama visited one of the islands with a group of former islanders last month. Maruyama was reportedly drunk when he asked the group leader if he would support starting a war to take back the islands.

On Thursday, the Lower House plenary session voted on the draft resolution submitted jointly by the governing and opposition parties. They include the Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party, which expelled Maruyama in mid-May.

The adopted resolution says Maruyama has greatly undermined Japan's national interests and the authority and dignity of the Lower House by repeatedly making remarks that are unworthy of a Diet member.

It goes on to say that Maruyama apparently lacks the necessary qualities to be a lawmaker.

According to the secretariats of the Lower House and Upper House, this is the first resolution to denounce a lawmaker.

In a statement submitted to the Diet, Maruyama apologized for making improper and inconsiderate remarks, but he refused to resign, saying he is apprehensive that the legislature is becoming something like a people's court.

In a tweet on Thursday, Maruyama said he will fulfill his duty as a lawmaker, as he previously said he would in a statement submitted to the Diet.

He cited a remark by 19th-century Japanese statesman Katsu Kaishu that roughly translates as "It's up to me to decide whether to step aside, and it doesn't matter what others say."

Japan calls the Russian-held islands the Northern Territories. The government maintains they are an inherent part of Japan's territory. It says the islands were illegally occupied after World War Two.

北方領土返還に関して「戦争」に言及した丸山穂高衆院議員(35)に対し、自民党や立憲民主党、丸山氏が所属していた日本維新の会などが共同で『糾弾決議』を提出し、衆院本会議で全会一致で可決された。決議では、丸山氏について「国会議員としての資格はないと断ぜざるを得ない」としたうえで「直ちに自ら進退について判断するよう促す」としている。議員個人に対する『糾弾決議』は初めてだが、法的拘束力はない。これに対し、丸山議員はツイッターを更新し、勝海舟の言葉を引用して「行蔵(こうぞう)は我に存す」として、進退を決めるには自分なりの基準があると主張している。そのうえで「任期を全うし前に進んで参ります」と改めて議員辞職はしない考えを強調した。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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