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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japanese diplomat returns home after gaffe

  • August 11, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 7:10 p.m.
  • English Press

Narita, Chiba Pref., Aug. 11 (Jiji Press)–Hirohisa Soma, former deputy head of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, returned to Japan on Wednesday after effectively being dismissed from his post over a gaffe.


Soma did not answer questions from reporters at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.


In a conversation with local media in July, he reportedly used a sexually explicit expression when talking about South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s possible trip to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.


Although made in a private occasion, Soma’s remarks were circulated by media, prompting South Korea to lodge a protest to Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koichi Aiboshi.


Japan called Soma back to Japan in an order dated Aug. 1 as part of regular personnel changes, but the move is seen as a dismissal.


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed his regret over the remarks, describing them as “extremely inappropriate.”

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