On October 31, 2008, General Tamogami Toshio, Chief of Staff of Japan’s Air Force, was fired because of his essay, “Was Japan an Aggressor Nation?,” which expressed an odd view of world history much different from the majority of global audience. Tamogami, was praised by the right-wing former Defense Minister, Koike Yuriko, according to BBC News, as a “Tom Cruise in the SDF.” Tamogami’s essay was made available both in English and Japanese over the internet, after Tamogami won the $30,000 first prize in a writing competition organized by a hotel and condominium developer, APA Group. Right-wings scholars were the reviewers on the prize-winning committee. Japanese politicians often have a different view from others regarding WWII history. No one should be surprised at Tamogami’s essay and his views which are probably representative of the mainstream Japanese political view. Since the 1990s, the Japanese right-wing has created what is often referred to as an iron triangle: politicians-media-scholars, to poison the views of Japanese youth who were born after the WWII. One way the Japanese right-wing politicians have pushed their political policies and agenda is through the public education system which often uses right-wing broadcasts and propaganda written into comic and history textbooks. Particularly upsetting is the fact that through textbooks, right-wing scholars have attempted to rewrite WWII history.
The following passages are the major arguments in Tomogami’s paper.
General View of WWII:
“Even now, there are many people who think that our country's aggression caused unbearable suffering to the countries of Asia during the Greater East Asia War.... But we need to realize that many Asian countries take a positive view of the Greater East Asia War. It is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation.... We must take back the glorious history of Japan. A nation that denies its own history is destined to pursue a path of decline.... If Japan had not fought the Greater East Asia War at that time, it might have taken another 100 or 200 years before we could have experienced the world of racial equality that we have today....”
China: “The current Chinese government obstinately insists that there was a Japanese invasion, but Japan obtained its interests in the Chinese mainland legally under international law through the Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and so on, and it placed its troops there based on treaties in order to protect those interests.”
Korea: Japan occupation was quiet moderate because the rise of the population in the Korea Peninsula during Japan's 1910-1945 occupation as proof that Korea under Japanese rule was also prosperous and safe.”
USA: “Roosevelt had become president on his public pledge not to go to war, so in order to start a war between the United States and Japan, it had to appear that Japan took the first shot, Japan was caught in Roosevelt's trap and carried out the attack on Pearl Harbor.... Roosevelt had been a puppet of the Comintern, the international communist movement founded in Moscow in 1919....”
On November 3rd, Tamogami Toshio had the press conference regarding his paper by saying, "There is nothing wrong in my paper," and "Japan is not an aggressive nation."
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Main Stream Japanese Political View/Tamogami-I
After growing up and studying in China and Japan, Dr. Suganuma went to the U.S. for graduate studies, earning master’s degrees at both St. John's University (in Chinese studies) and Syracuse University (in international relations) as well as a Ph.D. (in geography) from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.