WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady ran into renewed criticism this weekend for using the term "Japs" at an informal breakfast with reporters Thursday.
"We have been told our workers are idle and ill-educated, our goods uncompetitive, and our managers inefficient, and we can't compete with the Japs or the Germans or for that matter anybody else in the world," Mr. Brady had said.
Mr. Brady used the term only once, referring to "Japan" and "the Japanese" on many other occasions during the hourlong breakfast.
In an interview yesterday, Rep. Robert T. Matsui, a California Democrat, called for Mr. Brady's resignation, saying that the term was derogatory and insensitive when used in the 1950s and was even worse now.
"It really demonstrates the kind of insularity of this administration, the people that George Bush surrounds himself with," said Mr. Matsui, who was a critic of Mr. Brady before the incident.
The Japanese Embassy also complained yesterday about the term.
"We are disappointed that he used the phrase, which is often associated with a negative and demeaning tone with regard to the Japanese people," said Koichi Ai, an embassy press officer, when asked about the incident. "We didn't think it was something we should make a formal protest, but we are disappointed."
Mr. Ai said that embassy officials read Mr. Brady's remarks Thursday in a routine transcript of the breakfast meeting.
Mr. Brady apologized when asked about the incident Friday by a reporter, said Desiree Tucker-Sorini, the chief spokeswoman for the Treasury Department.