In a public appearance [last] Saturday — the unofficial start of the campaign for [Japan's] upcoming election — Kyuma said that dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 "ended the war," adding, "I think that it couldn't be helped."Kyuma had to resign as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's defense minister (and was replaced by Yuriko Koike, Japan's first female defense chief). His comments, more specifically, said:
Otherwise, Kyuma said, the war would have dragged on and the Soviet Union would have ended up occupying northern Japan.…The comments by Kyuma, who represents Nagasaki in the lower house, caused widespread anger by apparently treating lightly Japan's status as the only country ever targeted by nuclear weapons. Although the debate over the use of nuclear arms is not the taboo it once was, Japan's self-image as a special victim of World War II remains deeply rooted, even as revisionist politicians like Abe have tried to minimize Japan's militarist past.
"I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think that it couldn't be helped," Kyuma said.
Kyuma, who is from Nagasaki, said the bombing caused great suffering in the city, but he said he did not resent the United States because the bombs prevented the Soviet Union from entering the war with Japan, according to Kyodo news agency.
Kyuma said if Japan had not surrendered, northern Japan could have been occupied by the Soviet Union, which had begun invading Manchuria on the same day Nagasaki was attacked, according to Japanese media.
The remarks, rare for a Japanese cabinet minister, were quickly criticized by atomic bomb victims.
Post a Comment