Japan's air force chief sacked

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan is dismissing its air force chief for writing an essay that claimed the country was not an "aggressor" in World War II and was trapped into getting involved in the conflict by the United States.

A defense ministry spokesman says Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami will be removed from the post. He spoke Friday on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

Tamogami wrote in an essay titled "Was Japan an Aggressor Nation?" that it was "false" to say Japan was "an aggressor nation" during the war. He said Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, came as a result of a trap laid by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Tamogami's essay won a writing competition and was released by organizer Apa Group on Friday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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