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Japan city education board head to resign after saying war could solve coronavirus

Tsubame Municipal Board of Education Superintendent Hiroshi Endo is seen bowing in apology during a news conference over his earlier remark, at Tsubame City Hall on Sept. 2, 2020. (Mainichi/Yosuke Tsuyuki)

TSUBAME, Niigata -- The superintendent of the education board in this central Japan city has announced that he will resign for saying that a war would be a solution to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Hiroshi Endo, 55, distributed a document at a regular Tsubame city board of education meeting in late August that stated that "war would solve the coronavirus pandemic." On Sept. 2, he indicated his intention to resign from his post at the end of the month.

    At a press conference held on the same day, Endo said in reference to the war remark, "It had not been my true intent, but I apologize from the bottom of my heart to city residents for making them feel discomfort or deeply anxious." He said that he would be resigning on Sept. 24, when the regular session of the city's September assembly ends.

    According to the Tsubame Municipal Board of Education, Endo noted in a report distributed at a regular board of education meeting held Aug. 21 that "The way to solve the coronavirus pandemic in a short period of time would be for a big war to break out somewhere," "If China and the United States began a war somewhere outside their own countries, money will move," and "It will likely give the economy a boost."

    There were complaints about the remarks from an outside party, and in response, Endo posted an apology on the city's website on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Tsubame Mayor Tsutomu Suzuki said, "As someone at the top of education administration, the comments were extremely lacking in propriety, and (Endo's) resignation is unavoidable."

    (Japanese original by Yosuke Tsuyuki, Niigata Bureau)

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