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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 March 16 - 22  > Ishihara apologizes for saying, ‘Tsunami is divine punishment’
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2011 March 16 - 22 [TOKYO]

Ishihara apologizes for saying, ‘Tsunami is divine punishment’

March 16, 2011
Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro on March 15 held a press conference and apologized for his insensitive remark about the Great East Japan Disaster saying that the tsunami was “divine punishment.”

On the previous day, after a meeting with the Cabinet Minister in charge of the Electricity Saving Project Renho, Ishihara told reporters about the devastating tsunami which hit the Tohoku and Kanto regions, “Taking advantage of the tsunami, Japanese people should wash away their selfish greed. I think that the tsunami is a punishment from Heaven.”

When reporters asked Ishihara if he will retract his remark, Ishihara said he would not do so.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government office received a flood of protest calls and e-mails from citizens, demanding that Ishihara withdraw his remark. In order to respond to the massive protest, the Tokyo government had to assign additional staff to handle the complaints from Tokyo residents.
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