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Robert F. Kennedy Debates Socialists in Japan

Feb. 5, 1962 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy replied sharply today to members of Japan’s Socialist party who criticized U.S. policies on disarmament and Communist China. The President’s brother met with members of Japan’s parliamentary opposition group for discussions at Tokyo’s International House. Mr. Kennedy told the Socialists that the U.S. was prepared at any time to agree to a complete ban on nuclear weapons production, transfer, and testing. He challenged the Socialists to get Communist China and the Soviet Union to agree to a system of meaningful inspections. Mr. Kennedy then urged the Socialists to “analyze” their position to determine if they were truly working for the betterment of the Japanese people. Mr. Kennedy was repeatedly interrupted by the Socialists. Nevertheless, he expressed appreciation for the frank views expressed by the Socialists and said he hoped they wanted to hear his point of view. “And you will hear it whether you want to or not,” he added.

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