Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan has fired a government aide who made disparaging remarks about LGBT couples.
According to reports, Masayoshi Arai stated that he would not want to live next to or look at people in same-sex relationships.
Mr. Arai also warned that allowing gay marriage in Japan would cause many people to flee the country.
Mr. Kishida called the remarks “outrageous” and “completely incompatible” with the policies of his government.
Japan, which is still heavily influenced by traditional gender roles and family values, is the only G7 country that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
However, according to recent polling, the majority of Japanese people support gay marriage.
In recent years, a number of same-sex couples have filed lawsuits across Japan, claiming that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the country’s constitution.
Prior to Mr. Arai’s dismissal, Mr. Kishida had spoken in parliament about issues concerning same-sex marriage.
He stated that it required careful consideration due to the potential impact on traditional family structures.
Following the remarks, Mr Arai told reporters that he “wouldn’t like it if [LGBT couples] lived next door” and “doesn’t even want to look at them.”
He went on to say that it would “change the way society is” and that “quite a few people would abandon this country,” according to Kyodo News.
Mr Kishida responded by saying he had fired Mr Arai, adding, “We have been respecting diversity and realizing an inclusive society.”
Mr Arai later apologized, saying his remarks were inappropriate and did not reflect the prime minister’s views.
His resignation is a further setback for Mr. Kishida, whose government has seen its approval ratings plummet in recent months as a number of his ministers resigned over various scandals.