Former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara showed his support on the political ambitions of Toshio Tamogami, former Japanese military chief who was removed from his post after saying that Japan was a protector of Asia against Western imperialism during the Second World War and the not aggressor the country was painted out to be.
65-year old Tamogami, former chief of staff of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Forces who was fired in 2008 for his statement, said that his advantage for the upcoming gubernatorial race in February is his military experience, which is necessary in the aftermath of a huge earthquake that could strike Tokyo at any time. “I made the decision because it’s best for protecting Tokyo that I become the governor,” he told reporters. 81-year old Ishihara, former Tokyo governor for 13 years up until 2012, and monumental in escalating tensions with China over his bid to buy the disputed Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyus by China) during his tenure, was present at the press conference to lend his support to the former chief of staff.
Now a member of the Parliament, he mentioned that Tamogami faces a “tough battle” and calls the campaign a tokkotai, or “suicide attack,” an expression used by Japanese Imperial troops which connotes honor when sent to battle and said that “the man in this high position dares to join the battle with very little possibility of winning. I dearly hope people will share and understand the sense of duty and sense of crisis behind his decision.” The post became vacant when former governor, Naoki Inose, hand-picked by Ishihara as his successor, became embroiled in a money scandal where he admitted to receiving $500,000 from a healthcare tycoon before his election campaign.
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