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Japan Olympic minister steps down after gaffes

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Japan's in charge of the 2020 stepped down on Wednesday after the latest in a series of gaffes.

The resignation comes less than 500 days before hosts the Games, and follows a decision by the of to step down as French authorities investigate him.

"requested to resign after he hurt the feelings of victims" of the 2011 quake and tsunami, told reporters.

"And I accepted it," he said. "I deeply apologise for his remark to the people in the disaster-hit areas," Abe said, adding he accepted responsibility for appointing Sakurada as

The resignation comes after Sakurada said at a gathering of a member of the ruling from the disaster-hit northern region that the lawmaker was more important than the recovery of the region, according to the public broadcaster

The March 2011 tsunami, triggered by a massive undersea quake, killed around 18,000 people and swamped the Fukushima nuclear plant, sending its reactors into meltdown and leading to the world's worst nuclear disaster since

More than 50,000 people have not returned to their home towns. has dubbed the 2020 Games the "Reconstruction Olympics" and wants to showcase recovery in regions devastated by the disaster.

Sakurada had already come under fire for various gaffes such as commenting that he was very disappointed about teenage swimming star announcing her leukaemia diagnosis.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 10 2019. 20:50 IST