Fewer Friends With Each Passing Day

U.S. expresses displeasure over Kyuma’s claim that ‘Iraq was a mistake’

Washington told Tokyo it is displeased with recent remarks by Japan’s defense minister that were critical of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, Kyodo News reported Sunday.

Last Wednesday, Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma told a news conference that U.S. President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq “based on an assumption that weapons of mass destruction existed was a mistake.”

The proximity of the remarks to Bush’s State of the Union address drew complaints through diplomatic channels in Washington, Kyodo News agency said in a Tokyo-datelined story, citing unidentified diplomatic officials.

James Zumwalt, director of the State Department’s Office of Japanese Affairs, told a staff member at the Japanese Embassy that the U.S. took the comments “very seriously,” Kyodo cited the officials as saying.

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