Japan's human rights envoy to U.N. resigns after outburst earlier this year
Japan’s human rights envoy to the United Nations has resigned after an outburst earlier this year in which he told another delegate to shut up at a meeting in Geneva.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Tokyo said that ambassador Hideaki Ueda had resigned on Friday.
YouTube footage of the May 22 incident at the U.N. torture committee in Geneva provoked a storm of criticism on the Internet.
Blogging Japanese lawyer Shinichiro Koike, who said he was at the session, explained that a representative from Mauritius had criticized Japan’s justice system, which does not allow lawyers to be present during interrogation.
Ueda, who appears to be not entirely at ease in English, had jumped to his country’s defense. “Certainly Japan is not in the middle age,” he says on the video. “We are one of the most advanced country in this field.”
Koike writes that this comment provoked some giggling. “Don’t laugh! Why you are laughing? Shut up! Shut up!” the ambassador shouts. “We are one of the most advanced country in this field. That is our proud. Of course, there are still shortages of course, shortcomings. Every country has shortages and shortcomings, but we are trying our best to improve our situation.”
After the incident, Ueda was reprimanded by the Foreign Ministry but remained in his post until Friday.