One of Japan’s top generals and the former chief of staff of its air force has used the memorial day of the Hiroshima atomic bombing to hold a lecture in Hiroshima demanding Japan maintain its own nuclear deterrent, lest she be bombed a third time by the likes of China or North Korea.
Lieutenant General (or Air Marshal) Toshio Tamogami gave a lecture to 1300 people on the 64th anniversary of the bombing, advocating a Japanese pursuit of nuclear armaments:
“To avoid being atomic bombed a third time, the normal way of thinking about this is that we should pursue our own nuclear armament.”
Toshio Tamogami himself is no stranger to controversy, having been sacked from his position as chief of staff of the Air Self Defence Force for irritating nearby countries by arguing that Japan should not be considered one of the belligerent nations of WWII.
Hiroshima’s notoriously leftist city administration is unhappy the day’s pacifist theatrics were disturbed by a note of realism, with the mayor having tried to get the lecture date changed “so as not to increase the sadness of the bereaved as they mourn the spirits of the dead.”
Calls for a revision of Japan’s Constitution to allow a more robust ability to defend itself in the face of regional tensions are increasingly heard in the ruling LDP, though for the moment no politicians openly advocate an independent nuclear deterrent.
With North Korea having threatened to kill 40 million Japanese in a nuclear strike, and with the ever increasing military build-up in China, it seems likely that paying billions to maintain American bases in Japan with no absolute guarantee of American intervention will become increasingly hard for Japanese politicians to justify…