Japan's defense minister has resigned in a storm of protest over remarks he made last weekend that the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified. Fumio Kyuma said he understood the US decision to drop the bombs, and that "it couldn't be helped." He also suggested that the abrupt end to the war was better for Japan, the AP reports.
The remarks prompted outrage from survivors of the bombings and censure from the prime minister, who is struggling to stay in power, with parliamentary elections just weeks away. Opposition to nuclear weapons is integral to the Japanese identity. Kyuma, who represents Nagasaki in parliament, has a history of political gaffes.