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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japanese envoy to ROK reprimands deputy for making inappropriate remarks 

  • July 18, 2021
  • , Asahi, Mainichi, Nikkei, Sankei
  • JMH Summary

Asahi, Nikkei, Sankei and Mainichi reported on Sunday that the Japanese Embassy in Seoul announced on Saturday that Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Aiboshi has reprimanded his deputy, Soma Hirohisa, for making an “extremely inappropriate remark” during a conversation with a local media reporter. According to Asahi, South Korean broadcaster JTBC reported on Friday that a high-level Japanese Embassy official referred to “masturbation” during a conversation with one of its reporters when trying to describe South Korean President Moon being in a tug-of-war with himself over strained ties between Japan and South Korea. The paper wrote that the Japanese Embassy said Soma admitted to Aiboshi that he had indeed made the remark as reported and had retracted his remark on the spot. The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs reportedly announced on Saturday that First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong Kun summoned Aiboshi on Saturday to object to his deputy’s “rude” remark, and asked that the Japanese government take measures to prevent a similar incident.  

 

In a related item, Monday’s Yomiuri claimed that the governments of Japan and South Korea have agreed to hold a summit between Prime Minister Suga and President Moon at Akasaka Palace on July 23 on the margins of the Tokyo Olympics. The daily added that the GOJ is likely to relieve Soma from his post in order to “remove an obstacle” to the first in-person meeting between Suga and Moon, during which they are expected to exchange views on outstanding bilateral issues, such as the former comfort women and requisitioned workers.     

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