Japan's Aso cites Nazis for constitutional amendment

Updated: 2013-08-01 20:38


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TOKYO - Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso retracted his remarks which could be interpreted as encouraging Japan to follow Nazi example amid fierce criticism Thursday.

"I retract my remarks in which I cited the Nazis as an example, as it has ended up leading to misunderstanding," the former prime minister told reporters.

Aso, who doubles as the finance minister in Shinzo Abe's cabinet, said in a speech on Monday that "Germany's Weimar Constitution was changed before anyone knew. Why don't we learn the technique."

The event, which occurred under the Nazi regime, helped Adolf Hitler achieving dictatorship and left bitter memories for plenty people. But Aso ignored these, triggering fierce criticism from Jewish-rights groups and Japan's neighbor counties which are wary of Abe's attempt to revise Japanese constitution.

Aso explained on Thursday that he pointed to Nazis as a "bad example" of constitutional revision.

Yoshihide Suga, Japanese chief Cabinet Secretary, said the same day that the Abe administration did not appreciate the Nazi Germany, hoping to put an end to the controversy.