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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 27 - July 3  > Protest sparked by defense minister’s remark
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2007 June 27 - July 3 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

Protest sparked by defense minister’s remark

July 2, 2007
The mayors of the atom-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors), and representatives of peace organizations on June 30 staged a protest against Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio’s remark that the U.S. atomic bombings on the two cities “couldn’t be helped,” stressing that nuclear weapons must not be used for any reason.

Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi demanded that Kyuma immediately retract his remark and visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to face up to the damages caused by the A-bombing, stating, “His absurd remark is trampling on Hibakusha’s feelings and causing strong resentment.”

Nagasaki Mayor Taue Tomihisa said that Kyuma’s remark is “absolutely intolerable for the A-bombed city,” and criticized it as giving credibility to the idea that nuclear weapons can be used for certain reasons.

Tanaka Terumi, secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), said, “As Hibakusha that went through the hell in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are really appalled. Hundreds of thousands of people killed mercilessly there will never allow us to accept such a remark.” He stressed Kyuma is unqualified to be the defense minister.

Hiroshima Prefectural Hidankyo Director Kaneko Kazushi said, “Kyuma might be trying to send the message that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable in preparation for taking part in U.S. wars abroad through the adverse revision of the Constitution.”

Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) Secretary General Taka Hiroshi stated, “The Atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inhuman acts that instantly took the lives of 210,000 citizens and is still torturing the hearts and bodies of 260,000 surviving Hibakusha. As a minister of the only nation in the world that experienced such devastation, Mr. Kyuma’s remark is unacceptable.” - Akahata, July 2, 2007
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