Tuesday, November 11, 2008

General Tamogomi continued

Herbert Bix, the author of Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan (among other things) has posted an article at Japan F0cus concerning the essay that got Tamogomi relieved:

...essay contest sponsored by a large scandal-marred construction and real estate conglomerate, the APA Group, which required contestants to write on “The True Outlook for Modern and Contemporary History.” APA's President is Motoya Toshio, the author of historical works and a key figure in political organizations supporting the Komatsu Air Base in Ishikawa Prefecture (fronting the Sea of Japan). He has strong ties to former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and other rightist politicians, including Tamogami. [2] As far as is known, superiors in the Defense Ministry's chain of command did not carefully scrutinize Tamogami’s essay. A notorious Nanjing atrocity denier, Professor Watanabe Shoichi, headed the panel of judges that awarded the prize. And the essays were apparently “solicited for the purpose of ‘steering Japan toward a correct understanding of history as an independent nation.’”

Bix then analyzes Tamogami's essay and rightist beliefs (as did Tobias Harris earlier at Observing Japan here here, and here). Bix discusses some of the Western Allies' hypocrisy during the Tokyo Tribunal which gives the right-wing some of their rational for dismissing the war crimes convictions as victor's justice. He also discusses US/Japan alliance and why it may not be so good for Japan's future by its pressuring Japan to rearm (thus playing into the right-wing's hands.):

...But the real problem with the US-Japan security relationship is that it is a poison injected into the arteries of Japan’s political system, continually weakening Japan’s commitment to its constitutional ideals.

A link is provided tin Bix's article for the text of Tamogami's essay in both English and Japanese.

See Japan Focus for the full article.

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