Gaffe-prone Nakayama quits Cabinet

Aso names Kaneko to take transport post

Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Cabinet suffered a serious blow Sunday with the resignation of transport minister Nariaki Nakayama, who was under fire for several gaffes, including saying Japan is “ethnically homogenous.”

Aso appointed former administrative reform minister Kazuyoshi Kaneko, 65, to succeed Nakayama.

Kaneko, a seven-term representative from the Gifu No. 4 district, served as state minister in charge of administrative reform from 2003 to 2004 under Junichiro Koizumi.

Nakayama stepped down from the post just four days after he was appointed as part of the new administration.

His miscues drew strong criticism from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito coalition as well as the opposition parties.