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More ‘insensitive’ rhetoric against Japan likely, experts say, as US election campaign heats up

They expressed concern, however, that more “insensitive and unnecessary” comments critical of one of Washington’s closest allies may be forthcoming in the coming months as the campaign becomes more heated.

“Graham’s comments were very unfortunate and unnecessary,” said Yoichi Shimada, a professor of international relations at Fukui Prefectural University.

The Japanese government had “reacted quite calmly” to the comments, he said, adding, “But I hope that the Japanese embassy in Washington has reached out and warned him. US politicians need to be more careful because this is the sort of thing that can cause ill feeling at a time when we need to be reinforcing the alliance.

Graham was speaking in the US Senate on May 8 during a subcommittee meeting discussing the partial suspension of US weapons shipments to Israel.

Graham continued the comparison by asking General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “In hindsight, do you think that was the right decision, for America to drop two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities in question?”

Brown replied, “I’ll tell you it stopped a world war.”

Responding to a reporter’s question in Tokyo on Friday, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa 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.

“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.”

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