Japan’s Air Force Chief is gone following written comments that outraged China, Korea, and many others…
(CNN) — A state-run Chinese newspaper expressed relief Monday that senior Japanese officials had dismissed the country’s air force chief after he denied Japan’s aggression before and during World War II.
General Toshio Tamogami
Gen. Toshio Tamogami lost his job as chief of staff for Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force, the Ministry of Defense said, after saying in an essay that “it is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation.”
Japanese troops invaded China in 1937 and were widely accused of gross human rights abuses, including raping tens of thousands of girls and women and killing several hundred thousand others in what has come to be called “The Rape of Nanking.” Imperial Japan also invaded several other Asian nations, leading to the death and misery for an untold number.
Two former Japanese prime ministers have apologized for Japanese aggression before and during World War II. Yet China has long accused of elements within Japan of trying to whitewash the Japanese atrocities committed before and during World War II.
“The denial of the aggression history by Toshio Tamogami comes in as an element of disharmony,” the state-run China Daily said a commentary Monday. “Yet, as long as the Japanese government has a right attitude to this question, the smooth development of ties between the two neighbors will not be derailed by such discordant notes.”
China Applauds Dismissal Of Japan’s Air Boss
An official Chinese newspaper has applauded the dismissal of Japan’s air force chief over an essay he wrote that claimed Japan had not been an “aggressor” in World War II.
China remains highly sensitive over depictions of Japan’s brutal wartime occupation, and there were concerns that the essay by Toshio Tamogami, who was fired on Friday, would negatively impact ties between the two countries.
On Monday, however, the government’s English-language China Daily called the essay “an element of disharmony” and said felt “relieved” over Toshio’s removal.
“Yet as long as the Japanese government has a right attitude to this question, the smooth development of ties between the two neighbors will not be derailed,” the paper said in an unsigned editorial.
On Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry issued only a mild comment on the controversy, saying it had noted the Japanese government’s action.
In the essay, Tamogami said it was “certainly a Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.” to say Japan was “an aggressor nation” during World War II, and defended life under Japanese occupation as “very moderate.” Tamogami also claimed that Japan was tricked into attacking
China-Japan relations were thrown into a tailspin earlier this decade over formerJinichiro ‘s visits to a shrine honoring war dead, including convicted war criminals, as well as Chinese accusations that Japan was playing down its wartime culpability.
However, ties have improved markedly in the two years since Koizumi’s successor,, visited China, allowing the sides to weather potential storms such as the Tamogami essay.