Aso has a history of making public gaffes and inappropriate remarks, including previous references to Nazis.

During the contentious 2013 debate on whether to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution, which was written after World War II, Aso suggested that the country could learn from the way Nazi Germany revised the country’s Weimar Constitution.

He later retracted the comments but refused to apologize for them or resign, saying they had been taken out of context.

That same year, he also suggested people on life support should “die quickly” to save the country money. He later said he was expressing a personal view that he would feel guilty if his life was prolonged on the government’s dime.

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