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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 27 - July 3  > ‘Atomic bombings couldn’t be helped’ - Kyuma’s remark reveals he is unqualified for cabinet minister
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2007 June 27 - July 3 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

‘Atomic bombings couldn’t be helped’ - Kyuma’s remark reveals he is unqualified for cabinet minister

July 1&2, 2007
Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio in his speech at a university in Chiba Prefecture on June 30 said that the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inevitable. His remark has prompted strong public criticism.

In the speech, he revealed his understanding that the dropping of the atom bombs helped lead Japan to unconditional surrender and prevented the Soviet Union from invading and occupying Hokkaido, northern Japan.

“Countless people suffered from the bombings, but today I understand that the bombings put an end to the war and so couldn’t be helped,” Kyuma said.

JCP Shii: Kyuma is unqualified for minister

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference later in the day severely criticized Kyuma, saying, “It is absolutely unacceptable that a minister of the atom-bombed country made a remark suggesting that the atomic bombings, that is a nuclear attack, had been inevitable, while people throughout the world are making the utmost effort to find out ways to abolish nuclear weapons from the earth. He is unqualified to be a minister of this nation.”

“Under any circumstances, the use of weapons of mass destruction is impermissible. The government of the only atom-bombed country must firmly adhere to this principle and is responsible for sending this message to the world,” Shii said.

He made clear that he will raise this problem as a major point at issue in the House of Councilors election campaign.

PM Abe refuses Kyuma’s dismissal

Pressed by public criticism, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who first did not regard Kyuma’s remark as problematic, on July 1 said his remark was inappropriate. However, citing Kyuma’s apology for his remark, Abe rejected calls for Kyuma’s dismissal as unanimously demanded by opposition parties.
- Akahata, July 1&2, 2007
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