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Axed nationalist Gen. Tamogami seeks Tokyo governorship

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

An ex-top Air Self-Defense Force officer who was sacked in 2008 for his right-leaning, nationalistic views on history plans to run for the Tokyo gubernatorial election to be held Feb. 9, an employee at his office said Monday.

Retired Gen. Toshio Tamogami, 66, former ASDF chief of staff, plans to announce his plans Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo, the employee said.

Tamogami was sacked in October 2008 as ASDF chief amid political turmoil after he published an essay that argued Japan was not “an aggressor” of the wars it waged in the 1930s and 1940s.

Tamogami also claimed Japan was drawn into a full-fledged war with China by Chiang Kai-shek and into the Pacific War by communist agents who influenced U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

After leaving the ADSF, Tamogami became a political commentator and now heads the right-leaning, nationalistic political group Gambare Nippon! Zenkoku Kodo Iinkai (Hang on Japan! The National Action Committee), based in Tokyo.

In the latest entry of his blog dated Dec. 27, Tamogami praised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine last month, arguing Beijing and Seoul should not “interfere in the domestic affairs” of Japan.

Tamogami also bashed Washington for criticizing Abe’s visit, claiming the U.S. wants to maintain the status quo in which Japan “is bound with its masochistic view of history.”

“China and South Korea are opposing the Yasukuni visit just because they want to make conditions for diplomatic negotiations with Japan better for them,” he wrote.