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Japanese general faces firing over essay

TOKYO, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The head of Japan's air force will be fired for saying the country was not an aggressor in World War II, Japan's defense minister said.

Since Gen. Toshio Tamogami's views, outlined in an essay, run counter to the government's position on the war, "it is inappropriate for him to remain in this position and I will swiftly dismiss him," the BBC Saturday quoted Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada as saying.

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Japan expressed remorse for its wartime actions in 1995, and then gave a second apology a decade later, the British network reported.

"What he said was inappropriate for an air chief of staff," Hamada told reporters. "He should not remain in the job."

In his essay on the theme of "true views of modern history", Tamogami wrote: "Even now, there are many people who think that our country's 'aggression' caused unbearable suffering to the countries of Asia during the Greater East Asia War.

"But we need to realize that many Asian countries take a positive view of the Greater East Asia War. It is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation."

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