Japan's consul general in Vancouver will be returning home after pleading guilty to assaulting his wife.

Shuji Shimokoji entered a guilty plea, but was given an absolute discharge which means he will serve no jail time and have no criminal record.

Shimokoji admitted striking his wife during an argument last month. He bruised her face and arms.

The former consul general then said wife-beating was "a cultural thing and not a big deal." That comment outraged officials in Japan. Shimokoji later apologized for the remark and for hitting his wife.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry has ordered Shimokoji to return home.