Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday he has sacked a close aide after discriminatory remarks he recently made against sexual minorities came to light
Masayoshi Arai, an elite bureaucrat who served as executive secretary to Kishida, said on Friday that he would "not want to live next door" to an LGBT couple and that he does "not even want to look at them"
Arai retracted the comments, made off-the-record to reporters, later in the day after they were made public by the media
Kishida, who has recently struck a cautious note about legally recognizing same-sex marriage, told reporters earlier Saturday that the comments made by Arai "cannot but force" the Cabinet to consider his future[…]
Arai also said that if same-sex marriage is introduced in Japan, it would "change the way society is" and that "there are quite a few people who would abandon this country"[…]
Late last year, the LGBT issue drew fresh attention when LDP lawmaker Mio Sugita, the then parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs and communications, was compelled to retract past remarks against sexual minority couples
Sugita, who was effectively sacked by Kishida in December, had come under fire in 2018 for saying in a magazine article that the government should not support sexual minority couples because they cannot bear offspring and thus are "not productive"