A statement attributed to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, suggesting that the responsibility for funding a hefty defense spending boost lay with the people, was corrected Wednesday on his party’s website following a backlash on Twitter over the remark.
Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told the press Tuesday that Kishida had said “it is the responsibility of citizens living in this era to take on the heavy burden and respond” to securing stable funding sources.
The alleged remarks were made during a meeting of LDP executives, in which hiking taxes was put forward as an option to help Japan raise defense spending.
According to government sources, while the drafted statement had read “citizens,” Kishida had reworded it to “all of us” when delivering the speech as he felt the tone was condescending.
The actual speech given by Kishida during the meeting was not made available to the press. It is believed that Motegi had misquoted Kishida as he had based his press conference comments on the drafted statement.
A party official told the press that Kishida’s quoted remarks were corrected on the website as they were “different from the facts.”
“The prime minister’s statement was not a request from the government to the people. He said ‘all of us’ and did not distinguish between the state and its citizens,” a source close to Kishida said.
The corrected version on the LDP website now reads, “We must consider what responsible funding sources are. It is the responsibility of all of us living in this era to take on the heavy burden and respond.”
Source : Kyodo News