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Ex-Japan PM Mori harsh on Zelenskyy over war in Ukraine

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday, implying it is not fair to blame only Russian President Vladimir Putin over the ongoing war.
Mori, a gaffe-prone veteran politician, last year resigned as chief organizer of the Tokyo Olympics before the Games began after making sexist remarks.
"I don't quite understand why only President Putin is criticized while Mr. Zelenskyy isn't taken to task at all. Mr Zelenskyy has made many Ukrainian people suffer," Mori told a political gathering in Tokyo.
Mori, 85, was active in strengthening bilateral ties with Russia through talks with Putin when he was prime minister in the 2000s. After he retired as a lawmaker 10 years ago, he met with Putin as a special envoy of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The former premier also lashed out at Japanese news outlets, saying their "one-sided" reporting on the war in Ukraine gives him the impression they "only rely on reports from Europe and the United States."
Mori made the remarks at a gathering related to Muneo Suzuki, another veteran lawmaker known for close ties with Russia and his efforts to resolve the issue of Russian-held Japanese islands off Hokkaido.
In February last year, Mori came under fire after telling an Olympics-related gathering that meetings involving women tend to drag on. He was replaced in the chief organizer role by Seiko Hashimoto, a former female Olympian.


© KYODO
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