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Japan PM apologizes over heckling at parliament

Shinzo Abe

Tokyo: Japan’s parliamentary session opened this week with an unusual apology from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his heckling.

Abe apologised today for yelling at an opposition lawmaker during her question last Thursday about controversial defense legislation.

Abe intervened when Democratic Party of Japan member Kiyomi Tsujimoto was taking several minutes to ask if the legislation could increase the risk of casualties for Japanese defense troops.

“Come on, just ask a question!” Abe heckled from his seat, temporarily stalling the session as Tsujimoto protested.

Abe said her long question was taking away from his time to respond, then reluctantly apologized, but faced further criticism from both opposition and ruling parties.

Abe said in April he looked forward to speaking before the US Congress where he expected no heckling

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