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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Candidate Tojo seeks resolution against A-bombings


Staff writer

The granddaughter of wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo said Tuesday in Tokyo that if she wins a seat in this month's House of Councilors election, she will submit a resolution to the Diet slamming the United States for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Yuko Tojo, 68, expressed outrage against Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma for making comments that were interpreted as justifying the atomic bombings and welcomed news of his resignation while she was speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

"Many people, including Kyuma, believe that the atomic bombs stopped Japan's 'aggression,' but Japan did not fight a war of aggression," said Tojo, who claimed the war was fought to liberate the "nonwhite" colonies in Asia from the "whites."

"If there was one mistake, however, it was the fact that we lost. And if my grandfather is to blame, it's not because he started the war but because we lost," Tojo said, adding she wants the Japanese people to regain the pride they had before the wartime defeat.

Tojo is running as an independent in Tokyo, which is expecting a tough showdown in the July 29 poll. She said the ruling Liberal Democratic Party declined her request to back her as a candidate.

Tojo said that if elected, she would officially urge prime ministers to publicly visit Yasukuni Shrine and expressed a strong wish that Emperor Akihito do so as well.

Yasukuni Shrine honors Japan's war dead, as well as 14 Class-A war criminals, including Hideki Tojo. Because of the war criminals' inclusion, visits by leaders to the Shinto shrine routinely draw sharp condemnation from China and South Korea.

Tojo said such criticism constitutes interference in Japan's domestic affairs.

Recently discovered diaries of the late Emperor Hirohito's close aides indicated he stopped visiting Yasukuni after it honored the Class-A war criminals in 1978.

Tojo said this was not the reason, pointing out that the last visit by the Emperor, posthumously known as Showa, was in 1975.

"The souls of the soldiers will rest peacefully if the Emperor visits the shrine, because they died saying 'hail to the Emperor,' " Tojo said.

Tojo, who also has been involved in welfare issues pertaining to the elderly and the disabled as well as looking for the remains of the war dead, said her activities have led her to believe improvement is needed in national politics.

"I'm not running because I'm Hideki Tojo's granddaughter, but because I like politics," she said. "People think I'm a hawk, but I'm actually a dove on the torii of Yasukuni Shrine."

For related stories:
Tojo's granddaughter to run in July
Tojo a scapegoat, granddaughter charges
Granddaughter of Tojo still against separate enshrinement



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