Saturday, 6 December 2008

japan should go nuke


Japan 'should develop nuclear weapons'

Japan should consider developing nuclear weapons, the former head of the Japanese air force has said.

By Julian Ryall in Tokyo

Last Updated: 11:57AM GMT 01 Dec 2008

Former head of the Japanese air force, General Toshio Tamogami, says Japan should consider developing nuclear weapons Photo: AP
And if the country had atomic weapons in 1945, it should have used them against the Allies, General Toshio Tamogami added.

Sacked as chief of staff of the Air Self-Defence Force in late October for writing an essay in which he claimed Japan was tricked into the war and that Japan was not the aggressor, Gen Tamogami has continued to embarrass the government by going further with his demands.

Those demands now include instilling nationalistic pride in Japanese schoolchildren, giving a freer hand to the military and revising the parts of the constitution that deal with the military.

Gen Tamogami has even likened Japan to North Korea for failing to guarantee his right to free speech and sacking him when he did speak out.

"The history of the world from the 15th century was one of aggression of white people towards the rest of the world," he said.

"Japan was the last nation that was able to resist aggression from other countries, but now there is only talk of Japan carrying out actions against Korea and China and a tendency to ignore what the white nation-states carried out for hundreds of years.

"Any nation has positive and negative elements and I believe that if we are told by neighbouring countries that Japan was the aggressor and carried out evil acts and we remain silent then this is detrimental to our national interest," he said. "We should counter-argue by saying what actually happened."

According to Gen Tamogami, Washington was aware that an attack was planned against Pearl Harbor in December 1941 but no warning was given to the forces there in order to win over public opinion in the US for a war.

Similarly, Japan's occupation and colonisation of the Korean peninsula, China and Taiwan were beneficial to the people of those countries, assisted in their development and were "more gentle" than the policies of other Western imperial powers, including Britain.

Expressing surprise at the fury his comments have provoked – particularly in China and North and South Korea – Gen Tamogami claimed that censorship and the heavy hand of the Allies after the war led to a "mistaken sense of Japanese history" and the legacy of the modern military being unable to operate in the same way as other nations' forces.

The terms of the constitution have severely limited the scope of action for the Self-Defence Forces overseas, notably in Iraq, with debate in Parliament down to the level of the number of weapons an individual soldier might carry in order to protect himself.

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