BOJ's Harada Apologizes After Praising Hitler's Economic Policy

  • Harada, an economist, joined BOJ’s policy board in 2015
  • Simon Wiesenthal Center notes concerne on comments from Japan

Bank of Japan board member Yutaka Harada apologized for comments he made praising Adolf Hitler’s economic policy.

“My remarks intended to express the importance of conducting appropriate economic policies at early stages, and I had no intention at all to justify Hitler’s economic policies,” Harada said, according to an apology released by the public relations division of the central bank.

Yutaka Harada

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Harada, an economist who joined the nine-member BOJ policy board in March 2015, made his comments at a monetary policy seminar in Tokyo on June 29.

In the subsequent apology released by the BOJ, he said: “I have clearly pointed out in my remarks that tragedy did result from the policy steps Hitler had taken. That being said, I want to offer my sincere apologies for any misunderstanding my choice of words may have caused.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center released a statement noting the apology while also expressing concern about comments that have come from senior figures in Japan about Hitler and Nazi policies.

“This is not the first time that members of Japan’s elite publicly expressed their admiration for some elements of Hitler and Nazi Germany,” the Los Angeles-based human rights group, said in a statement. “Each of these incidents creates deep unease among Japan’s neighbors and friends.”

Finance Minister Taro Aso in 2013 backtracked from remarks saying Japan should use the actions of the Nazi regime in Germany as a model for reforming its constitution, after facing criticism from across Asia.

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