Ex-PM Kan under fire for Hitler tweet

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Former Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has come under fire for saying on Twitter that Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) reminds him of Germany’s wartime dictator Adolf Hitler.

Referring to former Nippon Ishin leader Toru Hashimoto and others, Kan, who belongs to the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, tweeted on Friday, “Their eloquence reminds me of Hitler when he rose to power in Germany at a time of confusion after World War I.”

The Twitter post is “inexcusable,” Yasushi Adachi, a House of Representatives lawmaker of Nippon Ishin, said at a Lower House committee meeting on Tuesday. “He would have been called ‘out’ if this had happened in Germany or the international community,” Adachi said.

“Personally, I don’t like using Hitler as an example when I say something,” Seiji Osaka, acting head of the CDP, told a press conference on the same day.

On Wednesday, Fumitake Fujita, secretary-general of Nippon Ishin, visited the CDP headquarters and submitted a written protest over the tweet by Kan.

In the written protest, Nippon Ishin said what Kan said was “baseless and absurd” and should be deemed as an “insult that goes beyond defamation.” The party demanded an apology and the withdrawal of the Twitter post in question by the end of this month.