Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Foot in mouth disease.........
TOKYO: Japan's defense minister resigned Tuesday after suggesting the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 were inevitable, a comment that stirred up a storm of criticism in a country where the bombings are seen by many as an unjustified slaughter of civilians.
Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, a native of Nagasaki, said he did not mean to condone the attacks.
"I just meant that there was nothing we could do about it," he said after tendering his resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose administration has been plunging in popularity and faces key parliamentary elections later this month. "I don't think people understood what I meant."
Kyuma's remarks generated angry criticism from survivors of the bombings, opposition lawmakers and fellow Cabinet members.
His statement is both right and wrong. Its correct in that as long as the Japanese government stayed on its course of death before surrender and fighting to the last man, the attacks were inevitable. However in my observation, most Japanese do not understand how close they came to be divided a la Korea or Germany style and how close the Soviets came to gaining a foothold here. Which would have been disastrous for both Japan and the United States. Hokkaido would have been gone as well as most of northern Honshu I think.
As a result Japan will have it first female defense minister-which is in itself controversial since she is seen as another hack from inside Abe's faction of the ruling coalition.
This is going to get ugly. It already did last night with huge headlines in the Japanese papers. Because in Japan-what happened to them was uncalled for-as opposed to what they did to others, which was simply something that happened to the other guy. You always have to be mindful of that over here.