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Atom Bomb Row Minister Apologises

news.bbc.co.ukHiroshima

Japan's defence minister has apologised for saying the US atom bomb attacks in World War II were inevitable.
Fumio Kyuma's comments had outraged bomb survivors and sparked calls from opposition parties for his dismissal.

The minister said he was sorry if he had given the impression he lacked respect for the victims of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Speaking in Nagasaki, where he is from, Mr Kyuma promised not to make such remarks in the future.

He had said in a speech at a university that the bombing appeared to be "something that couldn't be helped".

The US, he added, must have thought the bombs "could prompt Japan's surrender, thus preventing the Soviet Union from declaring war against Japan".

Japanese leaders rarely comment on the use of the atom bomb against Japan for fear of damaging ties with the US.

In a television debate, opposition politicians condemned Mr Kyuma's speech.

"As victims of atomic bombs, we never justify nuclear weapons no matter what the conditions are," said Takeaki Matsumoto, a senior MP in the Democratic Party.

Another MP, Tomoko Abe of the Social Democratic Party, said that Mr Kyuma was not fit to be defence minister and should resign.

The bombs which hit Nagasaki and Hiroshima, in a US bid to force Japan to surrender in 1945, killed about 240,000 people.

The row comes ahead of upper house elections on 29 July in which the ruling party faces dwindling public support.

WORDS AND PHRASES

apologise: v. xin lỗi
attack: n. tấn công
bid: n. nỗ lực
condemn: v. lên án
debate: n. tranh luận
dismissal: n. sự cách chức
dwindling: adj. thu hẹp/ thu nhỏ
impression: n. ấn tượng
inevitable: adj. không thể tránh khỏi
justify: v. chấp nhận
no matter what: pp. cho dù (gì) đi nữa
opposition party: đảng đối lập
outrage: v. làm phẫn nộ/ làm sửng sốt
remark: n. lời nhận xét
resign: v. từ chức
row: n. tranh cãi
senior: adj. cao cấp, lão thành
spark: v. làm nảy sinh/ gây ra
surrender: v. đầu hàng
survivor: n. người sống sót
ties: n. các mối quan hệ
upper house: n. thượng nghị viện


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