Japan's Olympics minister resigns due to improper speeches

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-10 23:26:49|Editor: yan
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TOKYO, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Olympics minister Yoshitaka Sakurada resigned Wednesday after he was caught up in the gaffe scandal and suffered mounting pressure, local media reported.

"I felt I had to take responsibility and submitted my resignation" to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Sakurada said in a press conference in Tokyo.

The 69-year-old was in charge of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games to be hosted by Tokyo.

When giving a speech on Wednesday at a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker's fund raiser, Sakurada said that an LDP lawmaker from Japan's northeastern region, which was stricken by the 2011 earthquake tsunami and nuclear disaster, is "more important than the (region's) recovery."

In February, Sakurada said he was "very disappointed" with the leukemia diagnosis of Rikako Ikee, a swimming gold medal hopeful for Japan in the Tokyo Olympics, triggering heavy criticism in the country.

The official also said last November that he does not use a computer.

After accepting Sakurada's resignation letter on Wednesday night, Abe made a public apology for appointing Sakurada as the Olympics minister.

Sakurada is the eighth Cabinet minister to resign since Abe resumed office in 2012.