Japan: Deputy PM praises Hitler

Japanese Deputy PM Asō says Hitler's intentions were 'good,' apologizes.

Nissan Tzur ,

 Tarō Asō
Tarō Asō

Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Tarō Asō spoke during a Liberal-Democratic party convention in a way which seemingly praised Adolf Hitler's policies.

"I am not doubting a politician's motives," Asō said. "I don’t question your motives (to be a politician). But the results are important. Hitler, who killed millions of people, was no good, even if his motives were right."

Asō's statement ignited the fury of Jewish organizations around the world. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in the US harshly condemned Asō, saying his words "are dangerous."

The center's Rabbi Abraham Cooper said, "This is just the latest of a troubling list of ‘misstatements’ and are downright dangerous... When will the Japanese elite realize they have a Nazi problem?"

Other Jewish organizations also protested.

As a result, Asō publicized a statement explaining his intentions and claiming he did not intend to justify Hitler's murderous policies.

"It is clear from my overall remarks that I regard Hitler in extremely negative terms, and it’s clear that his motives were also wrong," Asō said. "It was inappropriate that I cited Hitler as an example and I would like to retract that."

Asō served as Prime Minister of Japan between 2008 and 2009. In his current position, he serves both as Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and as its Finance Minister.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, said Asō "should make his own explanation when the time comes."

This is not the first time Asō has made such a remark. In 2008. Asō was criticized for comparing the Democratic Party's tactics to those of the Nazis. In 2013, he recanted a comment which seemed to suggest Japanese leaders should change the constitution to be more like that of Nazi Germany.