2. Abe cabinet slip-ups continue
Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura's remark was the latest in a series of improprieties by Cabinet ministers and parliamentary vice ministers appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Earlier in April, Imamura came under fire for a remark about evacuees from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Imamura was criticized for suggesting that people who voluntarily evacuated after the nuclear accident have only themselves to blame if they cannot return home.
He quarreled with a reporter about the remark, and later retracted it and apologized.
Separately, Local Revitalization Minister Kozo Yamamoto retracted and apologized for a comment he made on April 16th blaming curators for not doing enough to enlighten foreign tourists about Japan's cultural assets.
Yamamoto labeled curators the "biggest cancer," saying they must be wiped out.
As for parliamentary vice ministers, Shunsuke Mutai of the Cabinet Office stepped down in March over an inappropriate remark.
In mid-April, parliamentary vice minister of the economy ministry, Toshinao Nakagawa, resigned over a scandal involving an extramarital affair. Nakagawa subsequently left the Liberal Democratic Party.