Japan Minister in Charge of 2020 Olympics Resigns, Kyodo Says

(Bloomberg) -- A gaffe-prone Japanese minister in charge of the government’s planning for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is resigning after a series of missteps that embarrassed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

Yoshitaka Sakurada told reporters Wednesday that he had submitted his resignation, Kyodo News and other Japanese media reported. “I felt responsible and submitted a letter of resignation,” Kyodo reported him as saying.

The resignation comes after Sakurada came under renewed criticism when he made comments on Wednesday in which he joked politics was more important than the recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that left about 20,000 people dead or missing, Kyodo reported.

Sakurada who was also in charge of the government’s cybersecurtity strategy drew global attention last year when he admitted he didn’t use computers.

In February, he came under fire when he made comments about Olympic hopeful swimmer Rikako Ikee’s announcement that she had leukemia, which many people said showed more concern about the impact on Japan’s medal count than her condition, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

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