Medvedev says Japanese PM should disembowel himself

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday accused Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of shameful subservience to the United States and suggested he ritually eviscerate himself.

It was the latest in a long line of shocking and provocative remarks by Medvedev, who was once seen as a pro-Western reformer but has reinvented himself as a devil hawk since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington on Saturday, a day after a summit with US President Joe Biden on Friday, Kishida did not mention or was asked about Medvedev’s comment.

Japanese officials traveling with Kishida did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and no one in Japan was immediately available to comment on the remarks either at the prime minister’s official residence or at the Foreign Ministry outside regular business hours.

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Medvedev is a prominent ally of President Vladimir Putin, who is the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council and the body that oversees the defense industry.

He was responding to a meeting between Kishida and Biden on Friday, after which the two leaders issued a joint statement saying: “We state unequivocally that any use of a nuclear weapon by Russia in Ukraine would be an act of hostility against humanity and would be inexcusable in any way.”

On Saturday, Kishida said that May’s summit of major industrialized nations in Hiroshima should demonstrate a firm will to respect international order and the rule of law following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Medvedev said the nuclear announcement showed “paranoia” against Russia and “betrayed the memory of hundreds of thousands of Japanese who were burned in the nuclear fire of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” – a reference to the atomic bombs the US dropped on Japan to coerce. its surrender at the end of World War II.

Instead of demanding US regret for this, Kishida had shown himself to be “merely an accomplice of the American service.”

He said such shame could only be washed away by committing seppuku – a form of suicide by disembowelment, also known as hara-kiri – at a Japanese cabinet meeting after Kishida’s return.

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Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Medvedev has repeatedly warned that Western intervention in the crisis could lead to nuclear war, and has referred to Ukrainians as “cockroaches” in what Kyiv sees as outright genocide.

Putin has said the risk of nuclear war is growing, but insisted Russia has not “gone mad” and that it sees its nuclear arsenal only as a defensive measure.

Reuters reporting, editing by Frances Carey and Diana Kraft

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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