Lawmaker refuses to resign despite opposition motion over war remark
Japan Today -- May 21
A Japanese lawmaker said Monday he will not resign as a Diet member after opposition parties submitted a joint motion urging him to quit for alluding to Japan waging war with Russia to regain control of a group of disputed islands.

"I definitely cannot resign even if the motion is passed," Hodaka Maruyama said, calling the submission of a motion directed against a person's remarks a "serious situation."

Talking to the media for the first time after the Japan Innovation Party expelled him on Tuesday, he said that the Diet, as a place for free speech, is "signing its own death warrant" with the motion.

Maruyama drew flak for a comment made when accompanying former Japanese residents of the disputed islands off Hokkaido on a visa-free visit to one of them. While drunk, he asked one of the former residents, "Do you think there is any alternative to war (to recover the islands)?"

"I entirely believe my remarks do not deviate from the principles of the Constitution," he said Monday.

Article 9 of the Constitution prohibits Japan from possessing military forces and other "war potential."

Maruyama also demanded an apology from Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, the head of the party, who wrote on Twitter he "heard alcohol addiction causes mental damage," apparently referring to reports of Maruyama causing problems after drinking in the past.

News sources: Japan Today, FNNnewsCH
Nov 20
All construction works for the main stadium of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have finished. (NHK)
Nov 20
Shinzo Abe has become Japan's longest-serving prime minister after breaking a record set more than a century ago. (NHK)
Nov 20
East Japan Railway says it will tear down Harajuku Station, the oldest wooden station building in Tokyo, after the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the metropolis. (NHK)
Nov 20
The number of homeless people in central Tokyo has dropped 7% from a year ago, the metropolitan government says, with the robust job market receiving much of the credit. (Nikkei)
Nov 20
The Lower House signed off Tuesday on a trade deal with the United States that cuts tariffs on farm and industrial products, taking a step toward its entry into force next year. (Japan Times)
Nov 19
Police arrested a man wanted over the slaying of a 20-year-old woman in the city of Niigata. (Japan Times)
Nov 19
A 71-year-old woman in central Japan suspected of murdering her husband has told investigators she strangled her in-laws as well, local police said Monday, pointing to the stress of being the sole caregiver in the family as a possible motive. (Japan Times)
Nov 18
Yahoo Japan's parent company, Z Holdings, and major messaging app provider LINE have reached an agreement to merge. (NHK)
Nov 18
Sources close to the investigation of Japanese actress Erika Sawajiri say she has admitted to using illegal drugs for some time. (NHK)
Nov 16
South Korean President Moon Jae-in told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday it is difficult for Seoul to share military intelligence with Japan, while vowing to make continued efforts toward security cooperation among the three countries, according to the presidential Blue House. (Japan Times)