Japan FM reacts to US Senate atomic bombings remarks

Japan's foreign minister has reacted to a discussion in the US Senate that touched on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombings were invoked during a debate over US military support for Israel in its fight against Hamas.

It happened during a Senate subcommittee hearing on Wednesday involving the partial suspension of American arms shipments. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has urged weapon deliveries be resumed, referring to the atomic bombings in 1945.

The senator said: "Give Israel what they need to fight the war they can't afford to lose. This is Hiroshima and Nagasaki on steroids."

At one point, Graham pressed senior US defense officials on whether they thought the use of nuclear weapons was justified.

Graham asked, "In hindsight do you think that was the right decision for America to drop two atomic bombs on Japanese cities in question?"

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Charles Q. Brown answered, "I'll tell you it stopped a world war."

Graham then asked US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: "Do you agree General Austin? If you'd been around, would you say drop them?"

Austin replied, "I agree with the Chairman here."

On Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko was asked for her thoughts on those remarks by a reporter.
She said: "I believe those remarks about Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not appropriate. Japan is aware that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took so many precious lives and caused an extremely regrettable humanitarian situation in which people suffered indescribable hardships due to illness and disabilities."

The foreign minister added: "As the government has been saying for a long time, we believe the use of nuclear weapons does not match the spirit of humanitarianism, which is the ideological foundation of international law, because of their tremendous destructive and lethal power."

Kamikawa said Tokyo conveyed that view to Washington, as well as to the office of Senator Graham.