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Japanese government official retracts controversial comment about Hitler

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Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso retracted comments he made that appeared to cite Hitler positively for achieving results and having the right motivation. (JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

A Japanese government official has retracted his comments appearing to praise Adolf Hitler as an example of a politician who had a good motivation and achieved results.

The controversial comments were made by Japan’s finance minister, Taro Aso.

“Hitler, who killed millions of people, was no good even if his motive was right,” Aso told a meeting of his political party, the Liberal Democrats, according to Jiji Press.

Aso later released a statement attempting to explain that the controversy arose from a misunderstanding of his comments.

“It is clear from my overall remarks that I regard Hitler in extremely negative terms, and it’s clear that his motives were also wrong,” Aso said.

“It was inappropriate that I cited Hitler as an example and I would like to retract that," he added.

This isn't the first time Aso has apologized for comments that appeared to praise the Nazi regime as an exemplar for politicians. In 2012, he cited Nazi tactics for changing a constitution while advocating Japan do the same.

“I don’t want to see this done noisily," he said. "How about doing it quietly, just as, in one day, the Weimar constitution changed to the Nazi constitution, without anyone realizing it, why don’t we learn from that sort of tactic?”

Aso's later clarification sounds very similar to the current one: “It is very unfortunate and regrettable that my comment regarding the Nazi regime was misinterpreted … I would like to retract the remark about the Nazi regime.”

Aso is being considered as the successor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is a member of the same political party as Aso.

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