TSU A Mie prefectural assembly member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party apologized on October 6 for posting a series of tweets saying that opposition to the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came from a neighboring continent. Takatora Kobayashi conceded at a news conference in the Mie prefectural capital of Tsu that what he tweeted was erroneous, but he refused to clarify how.
In a tweet on October 2, Kobayashi said that 80 percent of the social media posts opposing the state funeral were sent from a neighboring continent. He told reporters on Oct. 4 that his information came from Sanae Takaichi, the minister in charge of economic security.
Kobayashi said that he sent the tweet based on what Takaichi said during a speech she gave in Nagoya on October 2.
After speaking to reporters, he tweeted that the 80 percent analysis was what Ms. Sanae Takaichi cited in her speech as the conclusion of research undertaken by the government. At a meeting on October 3, many Mie prefectural assembly members criticized Kobayashi's posts, saying they could fuel discrimination and prejudice against a certain country or race.
At the news conference on October 6th, Kobayashi said he would withdraw his tweets because they contained erroneous information.
He said he had deleted the tweets in question.
Kobayashi went on to explain that even though he took notes while listening to Takaichi's speech, he discovered they contained incorrect information after multiple people who had also attended the event pointed out the mistake to him.
Kobayashi sent apologies to Takaichi's office.
He refused to clarify how his tweets were wrong during the news conference.
He justified his refusal by saying that Takaichi's speech was not open to the public.
I am not under pressure from anyone in the area to withdraw my tweets, Kobayashi said. I am just being sincere on the question of whether he should resign over the tweets, and I am filled with regret, and he would like to keep working hard as an assembly member.
According to observers, he said he would let voters decide his future in the assembly election next spring.
Kobayashi didn't comment on criticism over his 80 percent tweet that it encourages discrimination or bias, saying Doing so will require me to comment on what was said at the speech. As of the evening of October 5, Kobayashi made his account private, explaining that I caused inconvenience to many people.