Mayor tells U.S. brass troops should use prostitutes

Hashimoto takes flak for sex slave rationale


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.

  • jatson

    busy picking up stones to throw at your own feet…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • tornado171

    Sounds like Nippon has a tea-bag problem.

  • Tomoki Kato

    American soldiers queuing for Japanese ‘comfort women’ in post-WW2 Japan:

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • Casper Steuperaert

      One idiot doesn’t represent the entire nation

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ..

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
    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.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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!