The Cable

Why is Mike Huckabee flirting with a Japanese WWII revisionist?

Are you just sitting around waiting for the opportunity to hear a lecture and take a booze cruise with a disgraced Japanese general who is notorious for defending Japan's WWII atrocities? Mike Huckabee apparently is.

Huckabee, the former (and likely future) Republican presidential candidate, is using his down time to host a weekend show for Fox News. For that program, he is planning to interview Toshio Tamogami, the former Japanese Air Force chief of staff who was fired in October after creating an international incident by writing in an essay that Japan was "not an aggressor nation" in WWII, according to the organizers of a series of events planned for Tamogami's upcoming trip to the United States.

Tamogami has launched an international lecture tour, which will hit New York in March. There will be a dinner cruise ($150 per ticket) on March 25 and a dinner lecture at the University Club on March 26 ($140 per ticket). Tamogami's website advertising the New York speech includes a picture of Huckabee and a link to Huckabee's personal website.

"Come share with us in the dual experience of powerful oration and rich history in The University Club of New York," Tamogami's site reads.

So what's going on here? The Cable reached Yasuhiro Takasaki, representative of the "Toshio Tamogami New York Lecture Committee."

Takasaki said that Huckabee was planning to come to New York and interview Tamogami for his Fox News show, although the interview had not been 100 percent confirmed. Huckabee would also attend the dinner and lecture, he said.

"It might be a good opportunity to meet with Huckabee," Takasaki said, advertising the event as a chance to get near the former Arkansas governor.

"I talked to Mike Huckabee last week and he is very interested in meeting with [Tamogami]," Takasaki said proudly.

The Tamogami scandal and his lecture tour has been extensively covered by the blog Armchair Asia, which points out that while Tamogami's "strident, revisionist views were brushed aside as an aberration in Japan's armed forces ... he remains vocal and a hero to many."

Is Mike Huckabee one of those? Repeated requests for comment to Huckabee for this story were not answered.

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