Japan Cabinet Being Reshuffled After Rape Gaffes

Published January 8, 2012 5:36AM (EST)

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.

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.

By Salon Staff

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