Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says the prospect of Russia using nuclear weapons was “increasingly real”, while welcoming a visit by the United States ambassador to Hiroshima, the first city to suffer a nuclear attack.
Japan, the only country attacked by atomic weapons, has regularly spoken out against nuclear armaments. Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in parliament, visited the city’s peace memorial and museum on Saturday with envoy Rahm Emanuel.
“When the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia is increasingly real, I believe ambassador Emanuel’s visit to Hiroshima and his experience of seeing the nuclear reality will become a strong message to the international society,” Kishida told public broadcaster NHK.
“I believe our visit was meaningful.”
Putin has not directly threatened a nuclear attack. But he warned that anyone hindering Russia would face “such consequences that you have never encountered in your history” – a statement some leaders took as a threat to use nuclear weapons.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Russia would use nuclear weapons only to counter “an existential threat for our country”, Al Jazeera reports.
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