On January 13, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Washington, D.C. The event was part of Kishida’s five-nation tour of Western allies, visits that have focused on defense and mutual security.
In a joint statement, the two sides cited challenges that “transcend geography,” including “Russia’s unjust and brutal war of aggression against Ukraine.”
The Biden-Kishida statement expressed their “unwavering support for Ukraine” and warned “that any use of a nuclear weapon by Russia in Ukraine would be an act of hostility against humanity and unjustifiable in any way.”
That prompted a harsh response from former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“This is such a monstrous shame that I will not even comment on the paranoia about our t state’s nuclear plans,” wrote Medvedev, now a deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, on his personal Telegram channel.
“Think about it. The head of the Japanese government, in a humiliating ecstasy of loyalty, is talking nonsense about Russia, having betrayed the memory of hundreds of thousands of Japanese who burned in the nuclear fire of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Kishida absolutely does not care that the only country that fully used nuclear weapons was the United States.”
In fact, this is misleading. It is Medvedev and other Kremlin officials who’ve engaged in nuclear saber-rattling since Russia invaded Ukraine. The use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. against Imperial Japan during the Second World War, while controversial still, is a separate issue from the potential threat of Russian nuclear aggression in Ukraine.
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