Japan's foreign minister expresses regret over US senator's atomic bomb remarks

Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko has reacted to repeated references made by a US lawmaker concerning the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during a debate over US military support for Israel in its fight against Hamas.

In a May 8 congressional discussion of the partial suspension of US arms shipments to Israel, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, "Give Israel what they need to fight the war they can't afford to lose. This is Hiroshima and Nagasaki on steroids."

In a Sunday interview on NBC News, Graham again referred to the US decision to bomb the two Japanese cities, saying, "That was the right decision," and "Give Israel the bombs they need to end the war."

Graham made the remarks despite Tokyo having told the senator's office it considered his May 8 comments to be inappropriate.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Kamikawa said Graham's latest remarks were extremely regrettable.

Noting that the catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must never be repeated, Kamikawa said Japan will make constant efforts to promote an accurate understanding of the devastating reality of nuclear weapons.

Editorial note: An earlier report stated that the foreign minister spoke to reporters on Wednesday, but the correct day is Tuesday.