I appreciated the critical remarks that Japanese Cabinet ministers recently made about U.S. policy in Iraq, feeling that high-level Japanese officials had finally begun to express their honest opinions. But I was disappointed when the government scrambled to coordinate its views to eliminate any impressions of discord in the Cabinet.

At a Jan. 24 news conference in Tokyo, Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma said “President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq on the assumption that nuclear weapons existed there was a mistake.” In a Feb. 3 lecture in Kyoto, Foreign Minister Taro Aso characterized U.S. military operations in Iraq under former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “very naive.”

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.