Tamogami terms Aug. 6 Hiroshima peace ceremony as meeting of ”leftists”

Almost all people who attended a peace ceremony in Hiroshima on Aug. 6 to remember the U.S. atomic bombing are ''left-wingers,'' former Air Self-Defense Force chief Toshio Tamogami said Tuesday.

''There were few A-bomb victims and their children (at the ceremony). Almost all attendees were leftist people who came from all over Japan riding on buses,'' Tamogami said in a street speech in Miyazaki Prefecture to back a candidate for the Aug. 30 general election.

Tamogami, who was removed as ASDF chief of staff in October 2008 after denying Japan's militarist past in an essay, was referring to the annual commemorative ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima city.

''The ceremony marked a leftist campaign aimed at weakening Japan,'' he said, adding, ''Mass media are trying to keep this fact secret.''

''Ordinary people would see the ceremony differently if they know of the fact,'' Tamogami said.

Some 50,000 people attended this year's ceremony, including representatives from a record 59 countries, as Hiroshima marked the 64th anniversary of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing.

(Distributed by Kyodo News on August 26, 2009)