On August 6, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned of a nuclear attack from Russia. When speaking about the bombing of Hiroshima, he also reiterated his country’s commitment to working to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
At a press conference marking the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city during World War II, Kishida pledged that Japan would make every effort to achieve this goal. Since Japan is the only country to have experienced the horror of “nuclear devastation” in war, he assured the audience that this would be Japan’s goal. The Prime Minister also said that this would be the most respectful approach to remember those who perished in Hiroshima.
The Japanese head of state then cautioned that the situation is even more dire now because Russia has decided to invade Ukraine in 2022. Kishida told reporters that Russia’s recent threats about using nuclear weapons in this armed conflict make the road “more difficult.”
Kishida added that there is “roadblock” in the form of growing international dispute about eliminating nuclear weapons. However, he stressed that the current situation makes this “mission” much more urgent, saying that Japan’s efforts to revive “international momentum” are dependent on it.
The recent G-7 Hiroshima Summit, when world leaders heard first-hand accounts from bomb victims, was cited by the Japanese leader. He emphasized the significance of this time by saying that everyone must recognize the “tragic” truths endured by victims of these atrocities as the “starting point” for meaningful progress.
In recent months, the Kremlin’s nuclear stance toward Ukraine and Western governments has grown increasingly aggressive. At a news conference on June 17 in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had given the order to send nuclear tactical weapons to Belarus. Russia had not taken such an action since 1962.
If Ukrainian forces are successful in their counteroffensive operations, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared on July 31, Russia would deploy nuclear weapons.