Shizuoka Governor Submits Letter of Resignation over Gaffe

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu, left, submits a letter of resignation to Kimihiko Nakazawa, the prefectural assembly chairman, in Shizuoka on Wednesday.

Shizuoka (Jiji Press)—Shizuoka Governor Heita Kawakatsu submitted a letter of resignation to the prefectural assembly chairman on Wednesday over his latest gaffe.

Kawakatsu, 75, is under fire for remarks viewed as insulting to people in certain professions, which were made last week in a speech to officials newly hired by the central Japan prefecture.

He initially planned to quit during an assembly session in June, but he has been under pressure to step down earlier from assembly members of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito who want to avoid disruptions to prefectural administration.

An election to choose his successor may take place on May 26.

In his April 1 speech to new hires, Kawakatsu said, “Unlike (those who) sell vegetables, raise cattle and make things, you are basically highly intellectual people.” Following public criticism, he announced his plan to step down and withdrew the remarks.