Abe wants Esaki to stay

Jiji Press NAGASAKI (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday indicated that he does not plan to replace Tetsuma Esaki as Cabinet minister over gaffes that Esaki made just after he took office last week.

“I want him to continue to perform his duties, with even greater concentration,” Abe told a press conference in the southwestern city of Nagasaki, rejecting opposition calls for dismissing the minister in charge of issues related to Okinawa Prefecture and the northern territories.

“He’s working proactively as the minister,” Abe said, referring to Esaki’s visit to Okinawa from Tuesday for talks with Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga and others.

Esaki came under fire for reportedly saying that he would focus on reading out answers prepared by bureaucrats in the Diet. The new minister has also said he is an “amateur” on the issue of the northern territories.Speech

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