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Aso Mentions Japan as Single-Ethnic Nation, Apologizes Later

Aso Mentions Japan as Single-Ethnic Nation, Apologizes Later

   Tokyo, Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso apologized Tuesday after apparently suggesting his country as a nation with only a single ethnicity, ignoring the Ainu minority in northern Japan.
   "If my remark caused any misunderstanding, I apologize and correct it," Aso, who doubles as deputy prime minister, told a press conference.
   Aso made the remark in question at an event in Nogata, Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Monday, while referring to a good showing by host Japan in last year's Rugby World Cup.
   "There's no country but here (Japan) that sees a single ethnic group, a single dynasty continue for as long as 2,000 years," Aso said at the Nogata event, according to informed sources.
   The remark could provoke a backlash after a new law recognizing the Ainu as an indigenous people took effect last year.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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