Tokyo - Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday retracted a remark to lawmakers of his faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that could be interpreted as a defence of Adolf Hitler's motive for genocide during World War Two.
Tuesday's comment by Aso, who also serves as finance minister, drew criticism from a U.S.-based Jewish group. The incident followed a rare June apology by Japan's central bank over a board member's praise for Hitler's economic policies.
"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 in a statement.
Aso said he wanted to stress the importance of delivering results, but not defend Hitler.
"It was inappropriate that I cited Hitler as an example and I would like to retract that."