Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tamogami to New York

As noted last month, prematurely-retired Japan Air Self-Defense Forces Chief of Staff General Toshio Tamogami is coming to New York City in March. Some introduce the General as "disgraced." I doubt, however, if he or his supporters believe him disgraceful. At least, they have no shame.

This week (12/15), Washington's much-read Cable on the politics and personalities of foreign policy picked up on the Tamogami visit: "Why is Mike Huckabee flirting with a Japanese WWII revisionist?".

The advertisements for the General's visit featured former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee as the event's moderator. The reporter contacted both the Governor's office as well as event organizers to find out more.

Not unexpectedly, the organizers had not been quite forthright in explaining the event to Governor Huckbee and the Governor's staff did little to understand invitation. After all, Huckabee, a future presidential candidate, might benefit from speaking alongside an anti-Chinese Communist general from an ally's air force.

Here it should be noted that Japan's Self-Defense Forces do not seem to have any rules as to when a retired or fired military official can wear his uniform. Tamogami is seen throughout his website and the event's website wearing his Air Self-Defense Forces full dress uniform.

The result of The Cable's reporting has been Huckabee bowing out of the Tamogami engagement and the event organizers taking down their English-language website. The Japanese site is better anyway. I guess they do not know that non-Japanese can read Japanese, including the reporter who called. There is also translation software...

The Tamogami event is still scheduled. There will be a dinner cruise and a talk at New York's University Club. It might now take a little longer for the University Club to realize that it is hosting a speaker who would be the Japanese equivalent of Holocaust deniers David Irving or Cardinal Williamson.

Later: The above photo is of Chief of Staff of the Air Self-Defense Force Toshio Tamogami receiving the Legion of Merit Degree Commander Medal from Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force Norton A. Schwartz at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia on August 19, 2008. This date is only a few months before General Tamogami received his infamous prize for his essay on the truth of Japanese history.

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