Japan Cabinet Being Reshuffled After Rape Gaffes


Salon Staff
January 8, 2012 10:27AM (UTC)

TOKYO (AP) — A Cabinet reshuffle in Japan is expected soon, and is likely to include the removal of a defense minister who outraged the public with gaffes about a rape by U.S. servicemen.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told reporters Sunday that a change in his Cabinet was coming soon. Japanese media reports said new ministers may be named Friday.

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The opposition has been demanding that Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa be fired after he made a series of gaffes, including a remark that he did not know details about the 1995 rape of a schoolgirl by three U.S. servicemen on the southwestern island of Okinawa. The incident sparked one of the biggest anti-U.S. protests in Japan and raised concerns over America's military presence there.


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