Japan trade minister, Yoshio Hachiro, resigns over childish Fukushima comments

In an early embarrassment for Japans eight day-old government, the economy, trade and industry minister resigned Saturday over comments deemed insensitive to evacuees from crisis-hit Fukushima.

Yoshio Hachiro, appointed only eight days ago in the new government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, provoked anger when he called the area around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant a "shi no machi" or a "town of death".

On Saturday, he denied media reports that after his visit to the nuclear plant, he also made as if he was rubbing his jacket against a journalist, while making a remark to the effect that "I will infect you with radiation".

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Japan’s trade minister, Yoshio Hachiro, slammed for ‘town-of-death’ remark

Japan’s new trade minister apologized today for calling the now-desolate area around the tsunami-hit nuclear power plant "a town of death," a remark seen as insensitive to residents who had to evacuate because of radiation leaks.

Yoshio Hachiro took office just a week ago as a new government replaced leaders seen as unable to move Japan past the triple disaster six months ago.

His comment came as he described his visit a day earlier to inspect damage and cheer workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

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