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Mayor tells U.S. brass troops should use prostitutes

Hashimoto takes flak for sex slave rationale

by Eric Johnston

Staff Writer

The backlash against Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto escalated Tuesday over not only his remarks that Japan’s wartime sex slave system was necessary but also over comments to U.S. military brass in Okinawa that American soldiers should use more prostitutes.

The uproar began Monday morning when Hashimoto told reporters in Osaka that Japan’s wartime sex slave system, which forced thousands of girls and women from around Asia into prostitution for the Japanese military, had been necessary in order to maintain military discipline.

The women “were necessary in order to provide relaxation for those brave soldiers who had been in the line of fire,” Hashimoto said Monday morning.

Hours later, Hashimoto created another stir by saying that, on a recent trip to Okinawa, he’d met with U.S. military brass there and told them that, on mainland Japan, there were legal facilities for releasing sexual energy, and that unless soldiers in Okinawa made more use of similar facilities, it would be difficult to control the sexual energy of the marines.

“I’m not merely making conversation. I want them to use sex shops more,” Hashimoto told the Americans, referring to bordellos.

The remarks about the comfort women prompted criticism from Seoul. In a telephone interview with The Japan Times, a spokesman for the South Korean government said Hashimoto displayed a parochial view that showed an ignorance of human rights.

“The wartime violations of women is a grave violation of human rights that is widely shared by the international community. The remarks by Hashimoto reveal a serious lack of perception for women’s human rights,” the official said.

In Washington, the Pentagon called Hashimoto’s remarks in Okinawa ridiculous, and said there were laws against prostitution.

In Tokyo, senior government officials offered various reactions. While Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga offered no comment, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Hashimoto’s comments were personal, but added he hoped there was no negative impact on Japan-South Korea relations.

Administrative reform minister Tomomi Inada, who before joining the Abe Cabinet lent her name to an advertisement in the U.S. media last year that denied government involvement in managing the brothels, appeared to agree with Seoul’s view.

“The comfort women system was a grave abuse of female . . . human rights,” she said.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the Abe Cabinet will not support Hashimoto’s views. But Shintaro Ishihara, who shares Nippon Ishin’s helm with Hashimoto, defended the remarks.

“Any military is commonly associated with prostitution. It’s a principle of history and by no means preferable. But Hashimoto is not saying anything wrong, basically,” he told reporters.

Hashimoto was unavailable for comment Tuesday. Through his Twitter account, though, he attempted to shift blame for his thinking by repeating earlier statements that a Cabinet ruling in 2007, during Shinzo Abe’s first stint as prime minister, had declared there was no proof that the central government kidnapped females and forced them to serve in military brothels.

“If proof does appear, we have to apologize. At the moment, it is the opinion of the government that there is none. However, a recent Cabinet decision seemed to indicate new proof would soon appear and I think it’s good that related organizations are making efforts to gather it,” he said.

As to his remarks to U.S. military brass in Okinawa during a visit over Golden Week, Hashimoto said Tuesday military brothels and government-sanctioned sex services for soldiers were nothing new. He noted that immediately following World War II, Japan established the Recreation and Amusement Association, a series of brothels for Allied troops in Tokyo.

“In my comments to U.S. military officials at Futenma, where I suggested the use of (bordellos), I did not mean to promote something illegal. The U.S. military forbids entrance into (bordellos) that are authorized by law, but even if you forbid entrance, that doesn’t mean that soldiers’ sexual desire will fall to zero, and I don’t know if such shops will help control sexual incidents,” Hashimoto said.

Official figures on the number of sexual assaults in Okinawa by U.S. military personnel are hard to come by. The prefectural government’s most recent data, from 2011, show there were no arrests for brothel-related offenses that year. Human rights groups and Okinawa officials concur that most incidents are either not reported or not prosecuted.

Hashimoto’s remarks about the comfort women and Okinawa bordellos are likely to make it even harder for Nippon Ishin to attract female candidates. Only about 10 percent of Nippon Ishin politicians are female, an area of concern that party advisers have long noted needs to change.

  • Robert_in_Japan

    Once an idiot, always an idiot. And the ones that elect idiots are idiots themselves. Osaka is getting what it deserves. And there is more folks, LOTS more of this stuff. Do not think this is a one-off.

    • http://www.myseniormoment.org/ SeniorMoment (pen name)

      I believe Japan like the European Union nations use proportional representation where even the smallest parties are represented in the legislature, so it should come as no surprise that idiots should have their fair share of representation. The wrong is in the media even paying attention to such absurd politicians.

      A state senator told me a few years ago that those who get legislation passed are not the ones you hear the most about in the newspapers. Their fellow lawmakers simply ignore them and bills they propose.

      • Kyle

        Prime Minister Abe shares MANY of these views. Hashimoto even uses Abe as an example, expanding on his view that there is no evidence of forced prostitution. These extreme views are endemic in the Japanese government.

      • Christopher-trier

        Not quite. Some European countries (EU or not, the EU is irrelevant in this regard) do have proportional representation. Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark are among them. Some, such as the UK, have a first-past-the-post system in which the winner of the most votes in each seat wins that seat. In the countries that do have proportional representation there is usually a minimum per centage required for a party to win any seats. In Germany it is 5pc.

    • Hi My name is…

      The US voted in 2 Bushes… Need I say more?

  • jatson

    busy picking up stones to throw at your own feet…

    • johnts1975ii

      indeed

  • Anita Railing

    Of course as disgusting and repulsive as sexual slavery is, Hashimoto is speaking as a wartime general would. However he is not a wartime general, this is not war, it is not last century. The Pentagon has psychologists on staff of course who recommend the same thing he is. The problem is saying it out loud. This guy needs to learn to keep his kuchi shut, and soon.

  • Masa Chekov

    Pretty much tells you all you need to know about Hashimoto, right?

    What an awful person.

    • bobkitten

      Yes, and he sort of reminds one of this guy:

      http://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/23/world/olongapo-journal-at-an-old-port-of-call-a-new-scourge.html

      Does it not? Apart from the all talk vs the more hands on approach there of course.

    • FredrikJones

      Actually not, he said publicly what others will say behind closed doors! No wonder the government endlessly lie since the citizens aren’t ready to hear the unvarnished truth! Is his statement PC? no. Was he lying, No. Was it wrong to have used comfort women, YES!

    • http://www.facebook.com/adam.agonis Adam Agonis

      I only need to know one more thing about Mr. Hashimoto: What day he resigns from office in disgrace for excusing rape. There is no excuse for such a horrible comment. Anyone so ignorant of the torment that those women suffered through is unfit for public office or any position in authority.

  • Elizabeth Andkylie

    How embarrassing for Japan to be represented by such an idiot. Instead of apologizing for such a horrific past, he’s justifying it. He’s an idiot and I bet his parents are deeply ashamed to raise such an imbecile. I know I would be mortified if my son turned out to be so stupid. Shame on him and shame on Japan.

    • Manu Datta

      Doubt it. I was in Japan. Many Japanese believe that nothing bad happened in WW2. These ideas don’t exist in vacuum.

    • 武 東郷

      Outspoken Hashimoto may have made a political faux pas. But if you want to know the truth as we do, why don’t you ask American brothers, fathers and grandfathers who are the veterans of WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War about how they dealt with their sexual desire. Especially those GIs stationed in Japan immediately after the war. Below are FYI.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/world/asia/08korea.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl2jUJWHsCQ
      http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2005/07/03/2005070361020.html
      http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2008/01/16/2008011661017.html

      • commonsensei

        Government sanctioned systematic enslavement and rape vs. individual / gang related prostitution. I understand if your over abundance of education made it hard for you to see the difference.

      • Glen Douglas Brügge

        Truth? No one denies what happens in and around US bases (and most military bases the world over) and that prostitution in Japan after WW2 was used as a “means” of placating US servicemen (it’s not some secret that our government or education system denies).

        For a government official like Hashimoto to openly state that prostitution is necessary for the nation is just crazy and disrespectful of women (all over the world) – this is why people are upset (not because it is a “Japanese” problem). If you ignore the comfort women issue for a second, you do realize part of his argument is that women, JAPANESE women, who work in the sex industries should be used by US servicemen to alleviate their desires. Your OWN politician is essentially condoning the exploitation of his own people to “service” the guests – this denigrates women and is an insult to women in Japan.

        And, the Japanese officials after WW2 willingly worked with the US to open brothels, so that the US servicemen in Japan would get out their desires on these “unwanted” women – rather than run the risk of having sex crazed Americans assaulting the general populace.

        This is not an issue of foreigners picking on Japan and ignoring their own sins. It’s about decency.

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        They dealt with their desire by using prostitutes, not multitudes of coerced women. That is the whole point

    • JTCommentor

      I’m not sure the leader of a municipal government, or the co-leader of a small political party “represent” Japan. Does Sarah Palin represent all Americans? Pauline Hanson represent all Australians? Every country has its embarrassing politicians – but its a stretch to say they represent the country as a whole, and offensive and condescending to be on your high horse shame an entire country for the views of one person, when I can be quite confident that whatever country you come from has politicians making just as embarrassing statements. Shame on you.

      Also, given the sensitivity of press relating to his blood line, I’m not sure its appropriate to speak of his parents like that.

      • Transplanted

        Except Hashimoto is a fast rising star of Japanese politics, a major
        candidate for the next Japanese prime minister… not to mention the
        mayor of Osaka, one of the representative Japanese cities.

        Any way you look at it, it is disturbing and embarassing for Japan. Let us hope the average Japanese are embarassed for him.

      • JTCommentor

        Your statements arent really accurate. 12 – 18 months ago when Japan was in the stranglehold of a seemingly endless line of DPJ prime ministers sitting around twiddling their thumbs, Hashimoto was seen as a breath of fresh air who could potentially revive a struggling country. Today the party that he co-leads (he is not even the sole leader of a national party) is down to 5% approval rating, and dropping month by month – it may not even exist by the time of the next election. If you are in Japan, you would have noticed that people stopped talking about him, and he disappeared from the media until this latest scandal (which is likely one of the reasons behind his outspoken comments). He is certainly no longer a fast rising star of anything, and absolutely not, and never was, a major candidate for prime minister. He no more represents Japan than Sarah Palin represents all of the US.

        Yes, he may be the mayor of Osaka, but does that really justify Elizabeth’s shaming the entire country in such a condescending fashion? Do the views every local mayor in the US represent every American? Many might not even know who their mayor is.

        The Japanese are not so much embarrassed by him, more angry at him for being ignorant or rude – he is receiving a huge beating in the press of course. The Japanese press are attacking him more than the international press, as you would expect, and their attacks are more valid as they are not relying on translations and interpretations of language.

      • paul

        don’t mke excuses for this guy. he does represent the views of Osaka Prefecture which makes these views all the worse.

      • JTCommentor

        I would not make excuses for this man. My point was that people who want to down talk Japan as a whole because of the views of Hashimoto either dont know Japan (or Hashimoto’s history) very well, or are using this as an excuse to badmouth some perceived elements of Japanese society that they dont agree with.

        He does not represent the views of Japan as nationally, he is just the co-leader of a dwindling minority party. He does not represent the views of Osaka prefecture – he is no longer governor of Osaka. He is the mayor of Osaka city, so at best he represents the views of one city – but I think that even that is a stretch, given the role of a mayor to the city. People elected him because of his city-specific policies, dealing usually with local issues, not to be the flag bearer of their views on history, on national issues etc.

  • tornado171

    Sounds like Nippon has a tea-bag problem.

  • Tomoki Kato

    American soldiers queuing for Japanese ‘comfort women’ in post-WW2 Japan:
    http://blog-imgs-13.fc2.com/r/e/d/redfox2667/51064_640x480.jpg

    • jpr_2000

      Interestingly, the Japanese government recruited many of these woman, who were not prostitutes at the time, to do their duty for the greater society and sexually satisfy the US troops as they feared US troops would otherwise engage in the same type of mass rapes and abuses committed by Japanese troops in China.

    • Kyle

      These are NOT “comfort women”. These are prostitutes being paid for their services. A sad profession indeed, but not forced. Young Korean, Chinese, and Filipino women were raped 100-200 times a day in squalid conditions. Most had multiple miscarriages, numerous diseases, and a life-time of shame. Some of these women were under 15 years of age.

      I would join you in criticizing US poor behavior in Post-war Japan. But to compare the poor behavior of US military personal with the rampant state-run “sex slavery” committed by Japan is irresponsible and just plain wrong.

    • jodan

      There’s a difference between hiring them and putting a gun to their heads and saying they ‘volunteered.’ If you don’t know the difference, perhaps you should stop being a woman.

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      But you do realize the Japanese Government had a part in this? It was not a case of the Americans enslaving women of a conquered nation – it was done in cooperation with the US Forces. The Japanese Government then believed the very same thing Hashimoto believes now – “Sometimes we need to sacrifice “these” women to keep the nation safe.” The belief was, if US servicemen did not visit the brothels, they would run around raping “good” Japanese women. So what better strategy than to offer them the Japanese women that no one cared for? Prostitutes in all nations are often considered human garbage – at the bottom of the social ladder. This is not an issue of the West vs. Japan, but rather sexism by idiots like Hashimoto and the treatment of women, Japanese or not, as objects just to be used for some greater cause.

  • Bai Sheng

    Oh no he didn’t!

  • Christopher-trier

    Oh, what a tasteful and subtle man. I’m quite sure his choice of political allies is limited to those who would never think of making any foolish comments or controversial decisions.

  • sargeh

    Just another example of Japan refusing to come to terms with their war crimes.

    • Masa Chekov

      When you lump every one of the 127 million people of Japan in one pot you are hopelessly, automatically wrong.

      Hashimoto and his ilk are idiots – that does not imply that every person in Japan is an idiot.

      • jpr_2000

        No, but he was Governor and now he is mayor, and these are not the first ridiculous right wing things he has said. So no, not every person in Japan – but you’d be surprised how many men think this way here. Also, he is, believe it or not, a hero of many. Considering the back tracking Abe has had to do in the last few weeks over similar issues also over Japan’s WW2 past, Sargeh comments are pretty much on the money. Besides he didn’t call everyone in Japan an idiot – only you made that insinuation.

      • Ben

        Funny that. Isn’t that what the Japan likes to do to China frequently? Take some obscure statement said somewhere by some random official and blow it up out of proportion?

      • Ben

        “Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the Abe Cabinet will not support Hashimoto’s views. But Shintaro Ishihara, who shares Nippon Ishin’s helm with Hashimoto, defended the remarks.

        “Any military is commonly associated with prostitution. It’s a principle of history and by no means preferable. But Hashimoto is not saying anything wrong, basically,” he told reporters.”

        This is the same Shintaro Ishihara, who purchased the Diaoyu Islands, you know, that little island dispute that Japan rages about, and has caused so many diplomatic problems. I’d say his views are fairly representative of the government’s!

      • Masa Chekov

        I would say Ishihara’s views are NOT representative of the government’s at large, actually. His move from Tokyo politics to the national stage was pretty much a failure last year (as was Hashimoto’s).

        Ishihara didn’t purchase the Senkakus, by the way, the government nationalized them to prevent him from doing so. Facts are important!

      • Kyle

        You are absolutely right. However, there is a growing trend of high level politicians in Japan trying to deny, justify, and excuse violations of human rights committed by Japan between 1895 – 1945. The Prime Minister has questioned the label of Japan as the aggressor in WWII, he has denied there is any evidence of sex slavery, and a major campaign promise was to re-evaluate the 1993 Japan Apology to East Asian nations. While there are plenty of media and politicians in Japan that criticize these “extreme” views, does Hashimoto loose his job, no? Imagine the backlash if the German Prime Minister began excusing and justifying the Nazi’s? This is an outrage. In fact, many of these extreme politicians gain popularity in Japan, while they should be shunned.

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        Because due to the preferential voting system. Only the supporters of these nutters bother to vote

      • jodan

        Yeah, just this guy Hashimoto, Shintaro “Gimme Nuclear Weapons” Ishihara and Aso “Old People Should Die” Taro. These guys are the nutters and most Japanese totally don’t agree with them.

        They just elect them to offices of Osaka mayor, Tokyo Governor and Diet member.

      • Peter Tait

        How does that rank against:
        - Todd Akin on the Congressional Science C’tee
        - Michel Bachman on the Intelligence C’te
        - Mitt Romney as a Presidential candidate (ahead of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, +++++)

        Hashimoto will be lucky to be elected as dog catcher

      • JTCommentor

        Well said

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        No, not everyone is an idiot. But the education ministry, by whitewashing school history textbooks, ensures that many Japanese remain in ignorance

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        No, but a great many idiots elected him

    • Ben

      i find that better than saying it didn’t happen and insisting the nation’s students be taught that it didn’t happen though.

    • Steve Hakk

      I don’t think so. Japanese people have come to terms with it and are moving forward rather than dwelling on a war that ended 70 years ago. Does Japan ask The USA to apologise for annihilating 2 of her cities?

      • shunrin

        Thank you, you said it. We have come to terms with it and I am angry that Hashimoto is a terrible idiot. We don’t want the world to believe that his views are accepted in Japan. It’s not!

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        Japan can’t, because they lost the war

  • http://www.facebook.com/bhargy Ben Hargy

    What a scumbag… my opinion of Japan is lowered after reading this story. Even Germany was able to acknowledge and repent for it’s role in the Holocaust… clearly the Japanese need to learn from them.

    • hir

      But there is no evidence of “comfort woman”.
      It is just a Korean propaganda as the hongkong soldier above said.
      Therefore, this issue is quite different from that of Germany’s Holocaust.

      • martaz

        You are either an illiterate who has lived in a cave since1942 or in complete denial if you claim there is no evidence of Japan forcing Korean and Chinese women into not just prostitution, but violent, physically damaging prostitution, many times onto death. There are REAMS of evidence, not just from the hundreds of victims, but from Japanese citizens, and even former Japanese soldiers.
        And I am sick of this delicate “comfort women” euphemism! It was bestial FORCED PROSTITUTION!

    • Casper Steuperaert

      One idiot doesn’t represent the entire nation

      • http://www.facebook.com/bhargy Ben Hargy

        Unfortunately, the actions of one individual can do great damage to the reputation of the country, company, family, or other entity that they represent. Similar to the way America’s reputation abroad is being damaged by the headlines generated by statements of Tea Party representatives such as Sarah Palin.

      • Casper Steuperaert

        That’s completely true, but I believe the majority of the Japanese are against his statements. I still can’t believe he would make such a statement in times when Japan and South-Korea should seek closer coöperation!

    • Christopher-trier

      Hashimoto is the mayor of a city, not the leader of a country. The mayor of Chicago once sent dead fishes to political opponents — an old Sicilian Mafia death threat — before he was elected to that position and put into a position of national prominence in the Obama government. A congresswoman once managed to get herself into an altercation with Capitol Police and she did not resign. Another US congressman sent unsolicited pictures of his “bits” to women via the internet. Does that mean that all Americans are scum balls? No, hardly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        An over-generalisation. I don`t quite see your point here

      • Christopher-trier

        How is it an over-generalisation to point out that the USA has a number of idiot local politicians? If we wish to condemn a country’s politicians for stupidity we can simply choose any and find many examples. Japan has its idiot politicians, so does the USA, so does the UK, so does Germany. My point was quite clear.

    • shunrin

      He is a terrible idiot indeed, but please, do not think that his views represents the views of the entire nation. That isn’t a fair assessment of Japan at all. Well at least, it doesn’t do justice to the many people and the media here who are voicing their opinion against him. I agree with you though that his statements truly hurt the reputation of the country; because you might not be the only one who would think that his statements represent the Japanese way of facing with the past…to me that is really, really sad.

  • Adam Smith

    This is why Japan (and Germany) can never again be allowed to become military powers.

    After all these years, there are millions of Japanese and Germans who still think they were right.

    • ramenschnitzel

      I recommend you to visit Germany and have a look by yourself, before making such hilarious conclusions about us.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.lang Andrew Lang

      No, I think Germany has done a better job of settling accounts with its past, and healing relations with the countries Germany attacked and abused during WWII. A comment like this by the mayor of a major city–unless there were a clear retraction and apology–would result in an immediate repudiation by the government and expulsion from the party within a matter of days. Elected politicians in Germany of the four major parties are not in the habit of denying their country committed war crimes.

    • Masa Chekov

      Most Americans think their wars of aggression in the past 50 years were justified, too. People tend to have distorted thinking when it comes to themselves, their people or their country.

    • Gang Qu

      I am in all agreement with those statements. How japan sees other races other than japanese is fundamentally wrong. It showed through the names they gave to their chemical experiment subjects which were human bodies from other countries; it showed through the brutalities and massacres they committed throughout the war.

      I have all the respect for them over their modern technologies, but that just makes them more dangerous for the rest of the world, especially the other Asia countries because their disrespect for other races.

      • Christopher-trier

        The Chinese have also followed a policy of gradual cultural genocide since the reign of the Hongwu Emperor. They have also shown great disdain for others and still do so today.

    • Casper Steuperaert

      The Germans and Japanese are amongst the most peaceful people in Europe and Asia, nowadays, it’s the neighbours who should be careful with the war drums

    • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

      Actually America has been pushing Japan (since 1950 actually) to re-arm. Japan has only done so on a limited scale bceause there are pacifist elements in Japanese politics who oppose it. If the LDP gets a majority in both houses this July, that could change even further. PM Abe certainly would like it so

  • http://twitter.com/QiBing5 省港旗兵

    “the “comfort woman” system, which forced thousands of girls and women from around Asia into Japanese military brothels”…

    Hashimoto also said that there is no evidence for FORCED by Japanese officials,
    those are just a Korean propaganda.

    THE JAPAN TIMES should mention this words too.

    • Tanpopo

      Yes but evidence of force is probably hard to find decades after the fact. Actually, I think the evidence is hundreds of women who claim they were forced as well as some ex-soldiers. Hashimoto saying there’s no evidence of force is like saying there’s no evidence that the holocaust happened.

      • http://twitter.com/QiBing5 省港旗兵

        However, the testimony by ex-prostitutes are a bundle of contradictions. Content is also changed each time to speak.

    • Kyle

      There is extensive evidence by Japanese veterans and the victims. The facts are undeniable, and are accepted by the international community. Only some in the Japanese government continue to deny that such human rights abuses occurred.

  • Konokono

    Referring to the title and the part that says “…and that U.S. service members in Okinawa should use more prostitutes.” at the first section of the article :
    Mr. Hashimoto didn’t use the word “prostitutes(BAISHUNFU)”. He said “adult entertainment industry(FUZOKU GYO)”, which doesn’t include prostitution (since prostitution is being strictly controlled under the Anti-prostitution Act in Japan). Some might argue that the two are essentially the same thing, but I’m just simply surprised by the poor quality of interpretation/ coverage. I wouldn’t translate the word “adult entertainment industry” into “prostitution”,,,,

    • Ben

      Semantics. Anyway, to go by your line of argument, are you saying Hashimoto is saying that soldiers need to watch more ‘adult entertainment (porn)’ in order to control their sexual desires? Right, like men need any advice on that… (I am a dude)

    • Kyle

      Let’s not call something its not. Everyone knows damn well what Hashimoto meant. His views are disgusting and his position as Mayor of Osaka should be in jeopardy after these comments. If these politicians (including PM Abe) continue destroying Japan’s credibility, than I fear for the countries future.

    • Mark Garrett

      The message is clear: release your pent up sexual energies on professionals, not the general public.
      While the literal translation may not be spot on, I think the interpretation is correct.

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      Although prostitution is illegal in Japan, per Japanese law, only vaginal sex counts for an act to be considered prostitution – oral sex, anal sex etc. are all legal and fall under “adult entertainment.” The rules are rather easy to get around, even for prostitution – for example, some “clubs” will claim that the woman had sex with the client of her own free will (off premises), and the monetary exchange was not done as compensation for the act but of the clients own free will – as a token of gratitude to the woman, a gift, if you will. Prostitution happens all over the world both legally and illegally, but Japan’s rules are rather open when it comes to sex acts. Hashimoto can only logically be implying that Japanese women performing sex acts on foreign soldiers is a necessity for the safety of the nation in order to keep their sexual appetites under control – as the system does condone it. This is a big slap in the face for women in Japan. According to this idiot, essentially, you are expendable for the national good. Someone needs to get this guy out of office.

    • Matthew Hughes

      Right, he is not saying servicemen should visit prostitutes, he is saying they should visit oral sex parlors, soaplands where naked women massage them to orgasm with their inner thighs and other legal sex establishments. The fact that Hashimoto apparently has no problem with the existence of these sorts of establishments shows he doesn’t have a very high opinion of women. The same is true of his statements about the inevitability of military bases breeding prostitution. Yes, pretty much everywhere the U.S. military (or any military) has a large base abroad there is an accompanying sex industry, but that doesn’t mean the military condones it. The U.S. discourages servicemen from going off base and associating with the locals (for better or worse) as much as possible to keep them away from it (especially in Okinawa where every rape or other crime committed by a serviceman garners national attention), they give as many STD talks as they can, and servicemen do catch hell when they get STDs from prostitutes. Hashimoto’s shoganai attitude about this represents a larger problem in the psyche not of all Japanese, but unfortunately of the conservative old men who still run Japan. It almost reminds me of some countries in the Middle East where women have to hide their faces because men can’t be expected to control themselves in the face of temptation. It’s ridiculous and inexcusable by any objective standard.

  • http://twitter.com/onoco タモン

    What about sex slave in Korea for US army? Please check out this article from the New York Times about it. -Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/world/asia/08korea.html?_r=0

    • Tanpopo

      That’s awful, too but I think there are some big differences. The NY Times says none of the Korean prostitutes claim they were forced into prostitution. Therefore, they were not sex slaves, just prostitutes. Also, there is no Korean or American politician talking about sex slavery as if it were a good thing or even recommending that soldiers seek out prostitutes.

    • jpr_2000

      Big difference here is that thus far there are no claims by the women themselves that they were coerced into it. That said, I think we all agree that forcing women into sexual slavery to serve the troops is a horrendous violation of human rights and a war crime. If the US army did in fact recruit and coerce women into sexual slavery, they should be prosecuted. Though I have little faith in US politicians, I think you would be hard pressed to find the Mayor of LA or NY advocate that such behavior was a necessary thing and justified since the troops were stressed…

      I’m hoping that the Japanese people, especially the voters of Osaka, call for his resignation tomorrow. He has shamed Japan throughout the world.

    • ddrddrddrddr

      “While the women have made no claims that they were coerced into
      prostitution by South Korean or American officials during those years…”

      I’m pretty sure this makes a difference…

    • around the block

      タモン If you read the article you posted; it stated that no one has accused R.O.K or U.S. of coercion. That is a very different thing compared to aiding and abetting. Your use of the term sex slave in connection with the article is not accurate. Read again more carefully. Having been there during that time, I have to say that the story is very accurate.

    • Kyle

      Let me point out, “the women have made no claims that they were coerced into prostitution.” – nytimes.com

      This is major difference compared to “Sex Slavery” practiced by the Japanese government. The behavior of US Military in relation to prostitution is worth investigating more, and the behavior is in many cases reprehensible.

    • J.å.y.d.ë.ë..P.â.r.k

      “no claims that they were coerced into prostitution by South Korean or American officials” — and rest of the articles seem to be loose opinions. Regardless, タモン being encouraged into prostitution vastly differs from Rape.

    • Guest

      this is not about “well, they did it too” bs, this is about those poor women who suffered the unthinkable and basic human dignity. For you to have that kind of reaction to the crimes your country committed, you’d better hope there is no WWIII.

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      You seem to think this is a case of the West picking on Japan. No one denies what the US military did in Korea and in Vietnam etc. What people find distasteful is the fact that some politicians in Japan do not accept that the Japanese Government had a hand in forcing women to commit these acts, and that many, like Hashimoto, going so far as to say “it is okay to prostitute women, even Japanese women, if it is for the benefit of the nation.” This attitude creates a great deal of anger and disbelief. After WWII the Japanese and US Governments opened up brothels for the very same reasons Hashimoto is condoning now.

  • Toshi

    Osaka, please don’t re-elect this moron.

  • RMMStaInes

    Pride has eaten up much of his brain damaged cells, living without morals is what makes his improper and selfish comments.Probably, all military bases around the world should have Hashimoto Girls and Brothels nearby to release their sexual energy. Stupid and crazy comments from a Osaka Government Official. RESIGN!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/darren.perks.5 Darren Perks

    Sickening Comments. I bet if Hashimoto was abducted at Gunpoint, Bashed, Starved, held as a slave and repeatedly sexually abused for Weeks, Months or Years, he would soon change his mind.

  • Stewart Hemley

    Do Japanese people realise how remarks like this damage their reputation? Of course this is one moron in a huge population of decent people but it worries intelligent people who are scaredy that it may be the tip of a well-observed trend towards a re-emergance of Japanese nationalism. And we saw where that got Japan and many other nations… Please find a way to educate Japanese people about their past. Start by not writing history books full of lies. And most of all, GET A MEDIA WITH TEETH AND WHICH IS NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM! Sorry for shouting but I’m a frustrated lover of Japan who sees where greedy, incompetent Japanese politicians and a compliant media are taking it.

    • shunrin

      The media aren’t taking it. They are grinding him with criticisms and sarcastic questions every day, ever since he made this comment. I realize his remarks damages the reputation of the whole country, and we don’t deserve it!! It is a total let-down for the decent wider public. By the way, our textbooks do not write lies…at least the one I had in school. Maybe not as much in detail as with Korean ones but certainly textbooks don’t ignore our wartime aggression. If that is the case, we would have a lot more ordinary Japanese people making similar remarks overseas which would have caused a lot more friction at the civilian level…This isn’t about textbooks, it’s more about Hashimoto being so unfair to everyone–to Koreans, the Americans, the Japanese public, to Osaka where his political base is.

  • goooosy

    All Americans know U.S. soldiers were using a system
    which provided women to men for comfort as Europeans’ .

  • Mike

    I agree that he doesn’t speak for all Japanese but if he is able to keep his job after this it will say something very big about how seriously or not Japanese people think about Japanese war crimes as well as how they are seen by the rest of the world . It’s too bad though really, I admired him until now for what he accomplished and thought he was what Japan needed. Changed my mind quickly.

  • goooosy

    All Americans know U.S.military persons were using a system
    which provided women to men for comort as Europeans’ .

  • http://www.facebook.com/jun.takao.7 Jun Takao

    There are some Misunderstanding
    Leftists at okinawa are trying to remove USMC camp from okinawa island, but Hashimoto recognise it is necessary of the camp(for Japan& Taiwan).
    Leftist brame USMC troop’s sexual crime in okinawa so he request USMC commander to aprove troops to use commercial sexual service in okinawa

    Regarding Fasist’s Era’s Japan Army he say “For avoid troop’s sexual crime,it was necessary Japanese Prostitute commercial sexual service” He never say “SEX SLAVE was necessary”
    And he is sorry to Duch Ladys who forced Sex slevery by stupid/shameless Japanese troops , about that Japan’s War Crime.

  • goooosy

    All Americans know U.S.military persons were using a system
    which provided women to men for comfort as Europeans’ .

  • Mike

    @ Adam Smith For a view of the difference between Japan and Germany in this area you might read Wages of Guilt. Suggests there’s a big difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lesley-Wheeler/1030601782 Lesley Wheeler

    the guy should be sacked …he is not fit for the job ..

    • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

      The problem is PM Abe won`t do that because he basically said the same thing in 2007. And he would be upsetting his right-wing backers. Japan is a country with basically good people – albeit somewhat ignorant about history – and rotten, corrupt leaders

  • KTA

    The only saving grace, if you can call it one, is that he at least acknowledged the existence of the comfort girls… which is more than what a few of his contemporaries would care to do.

    His statements are still vile and devoid of any humanity, though. And the city of Osaka elected this guy as their mayor? Yeesh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.orosa Mark Orosa

    There’s only one thing to say to you, Hashimoto: Valar Morghulis.

    - Regards, The Republic of the Philippines.

  • Ron Bockman

    I like this guy, he tells the truth even if it’s unpopular. Germany did it also. All soldiers and sailors use prostitutes.

  • Dwight Eisenhower III

    Nothing changes. Let’s get this guy a big black truck and let him ride around with a bullhorn. More troubling is Abe photographed in a fighter plane with the numbers 731 emblazoned on the side. That is really creepy and I’m not talking about the coffee whitener…

  • Pat

    Japanese politicians supporting the U.S. foreign policy by suggesting the accommodation of sexual desires? Most Americans want our troops to come home, immediately if not sooner. Manage your own problems and we will manage ours, including the pent-up frustrations of exploited American youth enslaved into a hubris-driven occupation that has no modern application or relevance ( which we also can no longer afford). What ethnocentric nonsense will we hear next?

  • Ron Bockman

    dangerous to tell the truth

  • HH in USA

    I wonder what would have happened to this Hashimoto if he were a German official making similar statement about crimes committed to Jews.

    • Christopher-trier

      He would have been removed from office and seen his career finished.

    • Roan Suda

      This is such a wearisome, idiotic, but all too predictable comparison!

    • Transplanted

      Absolutely apt comparison. Hashimoto should be removed from his office. Somehow I doubt that would happen in Japan. Political apathy or passivity? That would be giving the Japanese public a big benefit of doubt. One can only hope he does not represent the average Japanese person. shudders.

  • Peter Tait

    My (Japanese) wife considers that Hashimoto is not racist (it’s OK to enslave Korean, Chinese, Filipino +++ women) but sexist ( that is his view of the role of women).

    He isn’t fit to be a “candidate” in any civilized country.

    In Japan there is near universal voting participation by both sexes.
    Japanese women are very independent and they despise chauvinist pigs like Hashimoto.

    I advise him to keep his day job, his wider political career is over.

    • Masa Chekov

      I think he’s probably more of a sexist than a racist, but it’s indisputable that he’s a pig.

    • Gang Qu

      how is it OK to enslave anybody?

      • Peter Tait

        It isn’t

    • A-Lx Playing

      “In Japan there is near universal voting participation by both sexes.”

      You are off your gourd. I don’t know a single young Japanese person that votes.

      • Peter Tait

        Oops. Looks like the wife wasn’t a reliable source.
        Facts matter.

        http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm
        Japan voting rate:
        2012: 59.32% (when they realized change didn’t come)
        2009: 69.27% (when they voted for change)

        USA: 2012 54.05%

        The reality is somewhere between my “near universal” and your “don’t know …”

        Hashimoto is still dead meat in any country where women have the vote.

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        My wife does, but she’s in a minority

  • Srinu Ethakotu

    That is in the past when Human was illiterate, present era we should have learned that no body is slave to the Society, why create WAR- make someone slave.

  • shinjukuboy

    I’m not sure. Is he saying that US soldiers will l be rapists unless provided with women = sex toys?

  • yas

    This part is fabrication “sex slave system was necessary”
    Similar article by BBC is already collected.
    he said “adult entertainment women was necessary” Anyway its vulger…

    • Glen Douglas Brügge

      But in Japan, “adult entertainment” means sex (as we define it in most parts of the world). As long as the sex is not vaginal, it is legal and is not considered prostitution. So either way you slice it, sex acts are being performed which we would term prostitution.

      • yas

        I think the word “Sex Slave” include “forcedly become to prostitute” or “kidnap women”. Furthermore some people believe That is directly handle by Japan military”.

        Comfort women surely exsited. But Japan Gvt’s research can not find evidence of Japan military forcedly become women to prostitute, after “Comfort women scandal on 1991″.

  • frankyburns

    For those of you who thought neocons were an exclusively American species…

    This is the sort of politician who can lead Japan into a WWIII.

  • Amanda Feijoo

    And Japan wonders why it’s so low on the list of countries with good gender relations.

  • James Alias

    Japan should be ashamed that their leadership say that comfort women (SEX SLAVES) were a necessity. Also to compare U.S. Soldiers visiting prostitutes who willing engage in sexual activities for money and other benefits is like saying an Apple is the same as an Orange because they are both fruit. Not comparable rational.

    Japan had a choice of not invading China, Korea and other places. It had a choice not to have sex slaves. It had a choice not to rape and kill civilians during the war. The old saying two wrongs do not make a right, just because you have soldiers doesn’t mean you need to have sex slaves to service them. Just because a few soldier engage in rape, doesn’t mean it is right and justifiable and not punishable

  • Saiko

    Many of posts have insulted a great number of people who are unfortunate to have some form of mental disability by comparing them with Hashimoto (e.g. imbecile, moron etc.). Hashimoto is in full psychological health and expressed opinions of/similar to many other Japanese (men) who are considered to be in full psychological health, including high UN officials (High UN Representative Yasushi Akashi’s remark “boys will be boys” in relation to UNTAC personnel’s involvement in prostitution in Cambodia)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1799063346 Sac Ge Ma

    I would have thought after all the japanese bashing, someone would have stopped to comment on the US military presence in Okinawa and sexual assaults there?

    • Peter Tait

      Perhaps you are the only person who thinks they are in any way comparable.

      • Kyle

        Peter, thanks for the comment. This type of argument keeps coming up. They are completely different. These are 2 separate conversations.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1799063346 Sac Ge Ma

        Perhaps most people dont want to think about uncomfortable truths even if mentioned in this very article. Or that the very reason Hashimoto sugested this albeit outrageous suggestion was to bring down US military crimes in Okinawa?

  • Whitewitch

    Gosh how the Republicans in our country must be jealous…if only they could say what they believe like Mr. Hashimoto. Since it is probably the same theory most of them dream of.

  • thomas w

    Next time there is a war; give the girl a contract. Make her explain in her own words; why she wants soft money. If they are worthless; follow the same protocol as with the men. Or shoot them if you can’t. Nothing wrong with executions… save a womans dignity

  • posaunepar

    I am torn between a reasoned and flippant response. So I’ll post both.

    His claim that there is no real ‘proof’ that the Japanese coerced conquered women into servicing Japanese troops sounds like the kind of familiar rationalizing we often hear in this country to deny the obvious.

    I am under no illusion that American Servicemen were above reproach in their treatment of women during WWII, however, we don’t advocate systematized subjugation of women to gratify the rank and file’s sexual appetites.

    My flippant response would be a posthumous courts martial for the commander of the Incendiary raids over Tokyo that missed his parents’ home. Or, I could just say ‘God Bless Curtis LeMay’ for there not being more Hashimotos.

    For a remarkable insight into the way guys like Hashimoto think, read the incredible story of former POW Louis Zamperini told by Laura Hillenbrand in her book, “Unbroken”. He’s a better man than I would have been.

    I truly hope and pray that this guy represents a fringe minority.

  • http://www.facebook.com/desmo.ducati.7 Desmo Ducati

    Japan’s shame is eternal. Its continuing efforts to whitewash its war crimes brings even more shame to its nation. Now it should feel global reprobation and shunning. Boycott Osaka until Hashimoto is GONE. http://www.change.org/petitions/the-world-boycott-osaka-japan-and-its-products

  • 1nameme

    So, he’s saying that Japanese soldiers are so much more undisciplined and uncivilized than those of other nations that this is the only way they could be controlled in the field?

  • jimbo

    Most Japanese are unaware of ww2 attrocities – local media/school books are controlled. its the same as watching fox news all the time – forget about the facts.

    • Christopher-trier

      Or MSNBC which, frankly, even the New York Times decried as being too partisan and even worse than Fox. Current TV is turning into a subtly anti-Semitic network as well.

  • Guy Koppel

    If you read the Bible Hashimoto, you would understand that Christ was hung on a cross for speaking the truth. Now it’s your turn.

  • Scott Purser

    All I can say is that I’m happy that America is not the only nation with idiots for leaders.

    Perhaps “happy” wasn’t the correct word.

  • maggie

    Necessary? Why? Because Mstrbtion will make you go blind? Think of the bad Karma that could be avoided if they had just been issued Kleenex tissues. :(

  • Mubb

    Dude is a gaff factory just like Grandpa Ishihara

  • KenjiAd

    Hashimoto being an idiot is not scary per se. He is still essentially a TV personality which he once was and doesn’t have much intellect to truly influence the future of Japan.

    What is scary, however, is the fact that many people are undoubtedly agreeing with him, especially young Japanese people who will be leading the future of Japan. That’s what worries me.

    His popularity shows a seductive power of the nationalistic narrative in which Japan during WWII is being depicted as a “victim” of some kind. It powerfully resonates with emotions of many young Japanese who grew up hearing, though not at fault of their own, pretty much nothing good said about their own country during WWII.

    Revisionists are providing what they want to hear – fraudulent arguments that attempt to seed doubts about the idea that Japan did awful things during WWII.

    Actually Hashimoto is not a revisionist mastermind, like Ishihara is. Hashimoto, however, is strongly influenced by the revisionist narrative and isn’t smart enough to see how fraudulent such narratives are.

    • posaunepar

      I’ve not kept up with Japanese politics, but I’ll bet the Revisionists share both a healthy resentment of US Influence in their country and the same kind of superiority complex that prevailed in Japan prior to and during WWII.

      How ironic then that those Revisionists fail to appreciate the remarkable equanimity and forgiveness that marked US policy toward the governance of post-war Japan. How ironic as well, that they have one of the least likely kinds of people to thank for that – a soldier named Douglas Macarthur whose troops suffered innumerable acts of barbarity at Japanese hands during the War.

      • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

        True. But the mistake SCAP made was allowing so many right-wingers to return to public office after the occupation. Where they have nurtured their “victim” narrative ever since. Exempting the Emperor from accountability also played its part

  • nydolby

    Is he going to enlist gay prostitute for Japanese gay soldiers in the future?

    The biggest problem is that he still refuses to admit there were forced sex slaves.

  • itoshima2012

    Does he never use his brain before opening his mouth? What’s the point of this anyway? Isn’t he the mayor if Osaka?! He has no business…. What an ignorant! I guess he tried a last time to shore up support since he and his party are pretty much finished if you believe political news

  • oldman66

    I’m glad to see other nations have idiots as elected officials, but I believe kidnapping and rape are considered crimes – in most countries.

  • Glen Douglas Brügge

    I find it odd that these idiots are never forced to resign in shame over such gaffes; it shows a complete lack of morals and common decency. They do so much damage to Japan’s already fragile image. But I think the myth of Japan as the noble liberator of Asia is still so ingrained in many of these blowhards’ minds that the sins of the past are either unfathomable or justified. Why can’t they accept the horrible things that Japan did – which all nations commit in times of war – say sorry and move on? Sure, it is shameful, but all humans have the ability to do evil, Japan is not unique. It is a shared condition of the human race. We understand, learn and vow to do better the next generation around. That is the only way Japan’s government will mend its relationships in the East, by saying its sorries, and sticking by them. And doing more to educate subsequent generations; things forgotten tend to be repeated.

  • harold lloyd

    An amazingly stupid thing for any politician to say.

    If there were a Darwin Award for politics, he’s have it by now.

    The only thing he could have done worse would have been to say it on the steps of the Yasukuni Shrine.

  • Steve Hakk

    Let the man say what he thinks. So what if people don’t like it. It is difficult to judge the actions of war. It is better to let it go and move on. Many countries have done Japan wrong, but does Japan ask for apologies?

  • pervertt

    Am I the only one who thinks that Mayor Hashimoto’s rationality has been addled through pent up sexual energy? Surely there must be enough in Osaka’s municipal coffers to send him on weekly trips to a brothel. Preferably one that is run by civilians and does not have ‘comfort women’ in its staff.

  • http://twitter.com/miyukikay Miyuki Kay

    Hashimoto will be judged by Japanese democracy.
    Before that, help Okinawa people suffered from US navy’ violence and rape.

  • http://www.facebook.com/genkiguy Christopher Glen

    This is the problem. After the war, during the occupation on Japan many previously purged right wing politicians – such as PM Abe’s grandfather, were permitted to return to public office to provide a bulwark against communism. They have remained entrenched ever since. In addition the exemption (for better or worse) of the imperial family from any responsibility for the war has prevented a proper sense of responsibility from taking shape in Japanese society. These same politicians have prolonged the myth of Japan as a “victim” in the minds of Japansse ever since by whitewashing history textbooks

  • disqus_pkrRDJU42M

    Hashimoto should be removed from office for two reasons:
    1. He thinks it’s ok to use sexual desire and a lack of discipline to justify kidnapping, rape, violations of women’s rights, etc.

    2. He lacks the intelligence and forethought to hide such views or to realise that such views would cause negative views of him and the Japanese government.

  • nobuo takamura

    First Osaka citizens must regret having elected such a terrible mayor as Tooru Hashimoto, not too late to repent. Too dumbfounding to take it on the issue, out of the question!

  • disqus_Jov7DM2Bv0

    it’s really wrong to discuss this issue from only women’s right perspective. Judging from many disputes regarding this issue, they are missing one critical point by thinking of soldiers as one of other whole bunch of jobs. Military is not an ordinary job. They are continuously risking their lives. They are under extremely abnormal circumstances.

    I agree with criticism against his remarks. As most Japanese citizens know, his remarks were somewhat inappropriate and more often than not, they cross some moral lines. There’s no excuse,, just inappropriate as a representative of citizens.
    But given the fact that we elected him, we have to admit his remarks are also our responsibility.My point is , we have to stop criticizing him and focus on what is right and what is wrong.
    If you have an reasonable explanation including every perspectives which could convince him, go ahead and criticize him as much as you want.

  • leaf

    During war, acts that would be wrong in peaceful times are justified for what at the time everybody believes is “a greater cause”. No one denies this. Hashimoto making these justifications now, a time of peace, is not only utterly unnecessary, but the exact opposite of what Japan should be doing.

  • DMP

    Come now people let’s be realistic. The only reason we blast Japan over this is because Japan lost their bid for power. If they’d won or gotten a favorable truce no one would give half a crap about what they did. No one cares about the systematic rape and extermination of Germans, Poles, Czechs, Austrians, Romanians, Hungarians, and Croatians the Soviets did. Nobody cares about the rape and systematic extermination over centuries of native populations in America. No one cares about the rape and systematic extermination of ethnic groups in Africa. No. We care about Germany and Japan because in the last war anyone cares about they lost. When the next war comes and we do the things we’ve done since the dawn of mankind we’ll shift all of our blame and hatred onto the next batch of losers.

    When you put what Japan did into historical context they didn’t do anything everyone else wasn’t doing themselves or hadn’t done in the past. We’re living in a city of glass. Stop throwing rocks.

    • Kyle

      You are wrong. Please research Unit 731. Please research the 35 year colonization of Korea. Please research the more than 100,000 young women (many less than 15) who were forced into state-run sex slavery, also called “comfort women”. Please research the Rape of Nanking.

      “Nobody cares about the rape and systematic extermination over centuries of native populations in America. No one cares about the rape and systematic extermination of ethnic groups in Africa.” – speak for yourself, many people care

  • Jack

    Hashimoto really doesn’t know anything about being a young military man in Japan. Generally, American service men have little trouble just meeting ordinary Japanese females and do not need to go to a cat house. Maybe Hashimoto needs some paid for entertainment to straighten out his warped brain.

  • yota

    I’m Japanese.
    Please know there are many people in Japan who are against Hashimoto’s
    remark.
    I also can’t agree with his remark.

    But please also know this news article fail to express Hashimoto’s true intentions.
    He said in news conference that there are various countries other than
    Japan have “comfort women” system in W.W.2. age. Hashimoto said
    “comfort women” is unforgivable now. But in that age “comfort women” are
    needed by military and this is unforgitable idea now, he said. He said
    “Why is only Jpan criticized?” In W.W.2., Vietnam war or the Korean War
    there are “comfort women”. And he said we Japanese should apologize to
    comfort women.

    Those who want to know Hashimoto’s intension, please see his news
    conference text and his twitter acount.
    http://synodos.jp/politics/3894
    https://twitter.com/t_ishin

    However these texts are Japanese. I can’t tlanslate to English, because
    my English is poor. Please remember we Japanese are against wars as a
    country which throws away wars in our constitution.

    • Kyle

      You are fundamentally wrong about comparing the state-run sex slavery practiced by Japan during WWII and the prostitution that occurred during the Vietnam War. Prostitution is a sad industry regardless, yet the women in Vietnam were not FORCED. Off course many may have chosen prostitution instead of the prospect of extreme poverty, but these women were not being raped. They were also paid.

      The comfort women or “sex slaves” in Japan were raped sometime 100-200 times a day. Miscarriages were rampant, diseases became endemic, and many of these women were coerced or taken before the age of 15. The comparison is very different. Because Hashimoto has no understanding of history, he believes he can compare the hardship of “comfort women” with typical prostitution during war-time. The differences are light and day.

  • http://twitter.com/upsydaisy_yk upsydaisy_yk

    I will never understand how one could be a woman and a supporter of this shameless Hashimoto all at the same time. He is too obnoxious.

  • http://twitter.com/upsydaisy_yk upsydaisy_yk

    What we really need to remember is Prime Minister Abe is also one of the kind. He always says “We never forced them to do it.”, which means “comort women” were willing to serve as sex slaves. Such a barefaced liar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.f.sommers Charles F. Sommers

    I can only hope that the good citizens of Osaka realize the vastness of their mistake in electing this obvious misogynist and rid the political structure of him at the earliest opportunity.

  • Keita Suzuki

    I’m Japanese and can’t have completely objective viewpoint. (but I’ll do my best)
    I read what he said in Japanese and found this article definitely leads misunderstanding.

    He claims there is NO PROOF women were FORCED to be taken for comfort soldiers.
    His definition of comfort women is PROSTITUTION accompanied by military.
    They are not taken but they chose to work.

    Just read this article replacing ‘comfort women’ to ‘prostitution’.
    He just says prostitution is needed for military (I know criticism on prostitution but at least legal in many countries)

    As for American military, he wants them to go prostitute to lower extraordinary high rape rate(American soldiers against Japanese women) in order to protect women.

    In fact, some go to private prostitute but U.S never admits. That’s why he also says U.S have to be frank(honest). Prostitution officially admitted →More soldiers go→Rape rates lowered.

    He is very radical but not that.
    I want your opinion.

    • http://twitter.com/shinoskey Shinnosuke Okamoto

      exactly. this article twisted the truth too much to see original text any more.

      original one – t.asahi.com/atye

      what he truly meant is logical enough to support.
      he got to the point.

      cheers.

      • Against Hypocrisy

        I believe that what Hashimoto means is that it would be better for US troops to play with adult prostituted women than to keep raping little girls in Okinawa.

        The Americans used to keep prostitution houses nearby when they were in stanby at the Natal air base in the Northeast of Brazil from 1943 to 1945, so it would not be the first time for that to happen, anyway.

        By the way, in Brazil the Americans were paying Brazilian teenagers 1 US dollar for a round of sexual intercourse. Isn’t that different from slavery, I guess.

  • Toolonggone

    Yep. He hit a cycle in pissing contest. His words are running like water UNDER THE BRIDGE.

  • Against Hypocrisy

    What Hashimoto means is that it would be better for US troops to play with adult prostituted women than to keep raping little girls in Okinawa.

    The Americans used to keep prostitution houses nearby when they were in stanby at the Natal air base in the Northeast of Brazil from 1943 to 1945, so it would not be the first time for that to happen, anyway.

    By the way, in Brazil the Americans were paying Brazilian teenagers 1 US dollar for a round of sexual intercourse. Isn’t that different from slavery, I guess.

  • Yuki Matuda

    A little about the term: Hashimoto mentioned ‘comfort women’ but never said ‘Sex Slaves’. Now, PLEASE read the following US documents written back in 1945 Burma.
    http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/report-49-USA-orig.html

    If one has ‘plenty of money’(earns 100 times as much as soldiers), well fed, allowed
    the prerogative of refusing a customer, has the freedom to go shopping in town or to enjoy picnics, as well as the right to quit the job and to return home after paying back the debt, I wouldn’t call that person a ‘SLAVE’.

    What Hashimoto said was indeed disgusting and the ‘comfort women’ system was a dark side of the history. However, I think it’s quite unfair and misleading to use the word ‘slaves’ in this context.

  • Hiroya

    He seems to want to say, “Why only comfort women of Japan is criticized!? Why only Japan, Why!?” Yes, it’s not only Japan, but he said it in wrong way. In Japan prostitution is prohibited. Fuzoku is not completely the same as brothels, but often it is thought like that, and actually some of them do that using loophole in the law.

    His political career would end soon by fierce attack of mass media.

  • John McShea

    The bigger problem is the rape cases themselves. The comment is obviously stupid but the US government and Japanese government need to crack down VERY hard on any misbehavior by US troops. Many of us lived in Japan and followed the rules and loved our stay. We are only guests there and the Japanese government must protect its citizens above all else.

  • diane mozzone

    Only a man would come up with a statement like that but to be in such a high office…..this is a disgrace!