Japan's defense minister calls U.S. invasion of Iraq a mistake
The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a mistake based on a faulty assumption, Japan's defense minister said Wednesday in a rare criticism from Washington's closest Asian ally.
Fumio Kyuma said he has expressed his understanding of the U.S. war in Iraq but never supported it, and "my opinion remains the same."
U.S. President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq "based on an assumption that weapons of mass destruction existed was a mistake," Kyuma told a news conference.
Kyuma made the comments hours after Bush implored the U.S. Congress in his annual State of the Union Address to back his unpopular plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq, saying it represents the best chance in a war America must not lose.
Despite Bush's plan to boost troop numbers, Japan will not hastily decide whether to extend its airlifts in support of U.S.-led forces in Iraq, Kyuma said. The airlifts are to end in July.
Since we have only just finished reprinting all the relevant stationery and information packets, the likelihood that Kyūma will be canned for his continued freelance criticism of President Bush is nearly zero.
Now what as to what it all means when the Minister of Defense slaps around the White House on Iraq while Air Self Defense Forces C-130s are still flying in and out of Baghdad Airport, I do not know.
From the way Prime Minister Abe has handled all his other embarrassing moments, I guess it means...nothing.