Former Russian president says Japanese leader should disembowel himself



Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president and a senior security official in President Vladimir Putin’s administration, said Saturday that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida should perform a ritualistic suicide by disembowelment to repent for what Medvedev called servitude to the United States.

Medvedev’s remarks were in response to a joint statement Friday by President Biden and Kishida, in which the leaders said that “any use of a nuclear weapon by Russia in Ukraine would be an act of hostility against humanity and unjustifiable in any way.”

Russian military leaders have discussed the potential use of a tactical nuclear weapon should its invasion of Ukraine face more setbacks.

Medvedev, who was president from 2008 to 2012 and is deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said in a Telegram post that the statement by Kishida and Biden amounted to “paranoia.” He added that Kishida was a “servant” to the United States.

The only way for Kishida to atone for “such a shame” would be to perform a “seppuku” in front of a meeting of his cabinet, Medvedev said, using a Japanese term for an ancient ritualistic disembowelment.

Tass, Russia’s state news agency, avoided repeating Medvedev’s comments, writing only that he “described a method” for Kishida to repent.

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Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Medvedev’s remarks.

The joint statement, issued while Kishida visited Washington last week to meet with Biden, addressed countering Russia and China, as Kishida this weekend repeated his concerns that East Asia could face a fate similar to that of Ukraine amid Beijing’s simmering ambitions in the region.

They said in their joint statement that China’s recent actions have been “inconsistent with the rules-based international order.”

In response to the joint statement, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said the phrasing “smacks heavily of a zero-sum Cold War mentality and contains groundless smears and attacks on China.” He alleged that the United States and Japan were “finding pretexts for military buildup and willful use of force.”

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Kishida, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference before the bilateral meeting with Biden, said the two countries are “currently facing the most challenging and complex security environment in recent history.”

Japan last month unveiled a revamped national security strategy as it grapples with increasing security concerns posed by China and North Korea.

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