Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff General Toshio Tamogami made headlines for his inflammatory and revisionist essay on the Second World War. He claimed that Japan was tricked in to joining WWII, and that Japan was the true victim. He also denounced the Constitution, which prohibits Japan from possessing offensive weaponry and engaging in act of military aggression. In his view, Japan should rebuild its army.
This essay was bound to infuriate China, South Korea and other Asian countries who suffered at the hand of Japanese Imperial Army, so Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada ordered Tamogami to resign.
Tamogami quit, but he is refusing to shut up about the controversial essay. He is currently going around, saying how he is right and how he has the right to free speech.
This seemed to have annoyed Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, who is in an extremely difficult position thanks to the subprime mess and strong yen. (The Japanese government does not like a strong yen.) He doesn’t want to anger China and South Korea because their cooperation is vital in order to minimize the impact of subprime and strong yen on Japan.
So Aso, in his usual blunt fashion, declared the essay unacceptable. He ordered “reeducation” for Self-Defense Force members so that they not only understand the official government interpretation of history, but also adjust their own points of view accordingly. In addition, he told Hamada to punish any and all Defense Ministry and Self-Defense Force personnel who express opinions that contradict the official government interpretation and position.
I love Japanese politicians. LOL.