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Japan: Abe gives military brief to war crimes apologist

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe risked upsetting regional neighbours yesterday by naming as defence minister Tomomi Inada, who has excused her country’s war crimes.

Ms Inada, a former minister for regulatory reform who most recently held one of the top posts in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, replaced Gen Nakatani as defence minister.

Mr Nakatani was notorious for pressing for Japan to have a pre-emptive strike capability.

The new defence minister is a regular at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honours war dead, including convicted war criminals.

Ms Inada has excused Japan’s wartime atrocities, including forcing many Asian women into sexual slavery in military-run brothels, and has headed a party committee to re-evaluate the judgement of Allied war tribunals.

Her link to a notorious anti-Korean group was acknowledged by a court this year in a defamation case she lost.

She was also seen posing with neonazi group leader Kazunari Yamada in a 2011 photo that surfaced in the media in 2014.

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