Lawmaker refuses to resign despite opposition motion over war remark
Japan Today -- May 21
A Japanese lawmaker said Monday he will not resign as a Diet member after opposition parties submitted a joint motion urging him to quit for alluding to Japan waging war with Russia to regain control of a group of disputed islands.

"I definitely cannot resign even if the motion is passed," Hodaka Maruyama said, calling the submission of a motion directed against a person's remarks a "serious situation."

Talking to the media for the first time after the Japan Innovation Party expelled him on Tuesday, he said that the Diet, as a place for free speech, is "signing its own death warrant" with the motion.

Maruyama drew flak for a comment made when accompanying former Japanese residents of the disputed islands off Hokkaido on a visa-free visit to one of them. While drunk, he asked one of the former residents, "Do you think there is any alternative to war (to recover the islands)?"

"I entirely believe my remarks do not deviate from the principles of the Constitution," he said Monday.

Article 9 of the Constitution prohibits Japan from possessing military forces and other "war potential."

Maruyama also demanded an apology from Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, the head of the party, who wrote on Twitter he "heard alcohol addiction causes mental damage," apparently referring to reports of Maruyama causing problems after drinking in the past.

News sources: Japan Today, FNNnewsCH
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