|Born||July 22, 1948
Kōriyama, Fukushima Prefecture
|Service/branch||Japan Air Self-Defense Force|
|Years of service||1971-2008|
General Toshio Tamogami (田母神 俊雄 Tamogami Toshio , born July 22, 1948) is a retired Japanese Air Self-Defense Force career military officer. He served as the Chief of Staff of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force from March 2007 to November 2008.
Career and retirement
Tamogami was dismissed with a 60 million yen allowance  due to an essay he published on October 31, 2008, arguing that "it is a false accusation to say (Japan) was an aggressor nation" during World War II and that it was rather drawn into the war by Chiang Kai-shek and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had allegedly been manipulated by the Comintern. The essay also argues that the war brought prosperity to occupied China, Taiwan and Korea, that "it is often those who never directly saw the Japanese military who are spreading rumors about the army's act of brutality", that the Greater East Asia War is viewed in a positive way by many Asian countries and criticizes the war crimes trials which followed the war.
Following the essay's publication, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada removed Tamogami from the post and ordered him to retire, since its viewpoint contradicted the government position and was likely to anger Japan's regional neighbors. Tamogami, on November 3, 2008 confirmed that the essay accurately expressed his views on the war and Japan's role in it. He had already written a similar essay in May 2007 for an ASDF internal publication.
On 13 November, prime minister Tarō Asō said Tamogami decision's to write this essay was "extremely inappropriate" and the government was wrong in having overlooked Tamogami's views for many years.
The essay which led to Tamogami's dismissal had been solicited for a writing contest organized and sponsored by his friend, prominent businessman and nationalist Toshio Motoya, under the theme "True Interpretation of Modern History." Motoya and the other judges, including Shoichi Watabe, an honorary professor at Sophia University, awarded Tamogami the competition's ¥3 million first prize. The piece later appeared in a book published by Motoya, "The Shocking Truth About Modern History," which also featured other essays entered in the competition.
Other outspoken remarks
Tamogami had long been a controversial figure, gaining attention in the press for a number of outspoken remarks. On the occasion of an unsuccessful civil case brought against the government for sending troops to Iraq, he remarked that he felt some of the activities of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force were against Japan's peace constitution, causing the litigants to claim a moral victory. On 14 July 2004, when questioned further about this supposed 'unconstitutionality' of the Air Self-Defense Force, he said his opinion should not distress its members since (quoting the catch phrase of Yoshio Kojima, a popular comedian) "what does that matter?" At a semi-political meeting on the 15 September 2004, he said that he felt that it would probably be necessary for Japan to develop nuclear arms in order to be seen as an independent nation by China, and that promising never to develop nuclear arms is "foolish." After the furor created by his essay and dismissal, he was asked by a British journalist on 1 December 2008 whether he would have used nuclear arms against America in 1945; he responded he "might have considered using nuclear weapons against the United States had he been a general for a nuclear-capable Japan in 1945, especially if it was a case of nuking in response to the threat of American nuclear weapons." Tamogami claims that other members of the Japanese government and military share his views.
Involvement with Japanese nationalist groups
Since retiring from the Air Self-Defense Force, General Tamogami has become involved with the Japanese nationalist groups, heading Ganbare Nippon since its founding in February 2010. He had organized a rally to protest the Senkaku Islands incident where a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese Coast Guard patrol boats. At the anti-China rally, he said: "Senkaku Islands is Japan's traditional territory, if we don't protect it, China will make action to take it."
In August 2012, he helped lead a group of Japanese activists to the Senkaku Islands to protest a landing on the islands days earlier by Chinese activists.
Tamogami is known for making jokes, particularly about his own diminutive stature. When criticized for his outspoken remarks he countered that "he did not lack loftiness (shinchō (慎重)) of speech, only of height (shinchō (身長))," and when commenting on defense spending cuts, he said of his own appointment "The slimming down of the self defense forces has begun, with the appointment of a more compact Chief of Staff." When criticized for accepting severance pay after the scandal caused by his essay, he quipped "Well, at last my wife and children are giving me hot food again."
- "Japan air force chief faces sack". BBC News. 2008-10-31.
- "ASDF chief justifies Japan's wartime aggression in Asia". Breitbart.com. 2008-10-31.
- Tamogami ups Nationalist rhetoric, http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20081112a1.html
- http://www.apa.co.jp/book_report/images/2008jyusyou_saiyuusyu_english.pdf Text of original essay
- Hongo, Jun, "Essay judges defend Tamogami", Japan Times, 9 December 2008.
- Hongo, Jun, "New ASDF chief Hokazono sorry for Tamogami's 'damaging' essay", Japan Times, 8 November 2008, p. 1.
- Hongo, Jun, "Tamogami's cohorts reprimanded", Japan Times, 26 December 2008.
- Onishi, Norimitsu, "Japan: New Fallout From Essay On War", New York Times, November 5, 2008, p. 20.
- Tamogami says he would nuke America
- Hongo, Jun, "Tamogami views no secret", Japan Times, 20 November 2008, p. 3.
- "The ghost of wartimes past". The Economist. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Tamogami says he would nuke America
- Yoshida, Reiji, and Jun Hongo, "Tamogami — history again retold", Japan Times, 11 November 2008, p. 2.
- Hongo, Jun, "Tamogami says views shared in Diet, SDF", Japan Times, 2 December 2008, p. 2.
- "China accused of invading disputed islands". cnn.com. 2010-10-02.
- Meyers, Chris, Reuters, "Landings, protests stoke Japan-China islands dispute", Yahoo! News, 20 August 2012
- "AF welcomes Japanese chief of staff". bolling.af.mil. 2008-08-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Toshio Tamogami.|
- Toshio Tamogami official page (Japanese)
- Toshio Tamogami official blog (Japanese)
- Tamogami's Controversial Essay English Version
- Article Strongly Criticising Tamogami's Essay 
|Chief of Staff Japan Air Self Defense Force
2007 - 2008