Unsworn testimony before an Upper House committee last week shed light on axed Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Gen. Toshio Tamogami's nationalist views, but questions persist over how such a vocal revisionist was appointed ASDF chief to begin with.

Born in Fukushima Prefecture in 1948, Tamogami graduated from the National Defense Academy of Japan in 1971. He served as chief of the Air Defense Command as well as the head of its equipment division before being appointed ASDF chief of staff in March 2007.

Some experts questioned Tamogami's unusual appointment to the ASDF's top job, since he had only served as head of the logistics and welfare sections instead of the mainstream planning and operations division.