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‘Comfort women’ rap unfair: Hashimoto

Kyodo

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto said Sunday he doesn’t believe the so-called comfort women, over whom his controversial remarks have drawn flak, were “sex slaves who were unwillingly forced into service by the country through violence, threat and abductions.”

Hashimoto, who is also the mayor of Osaka, said on a TV program he will clarify his views at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on May 27.

While noting that Japan “has responsibility over former comfort women . . . whether they were sex slaves or not will affect how the world assesses (Japan). The militaries of other countries similarly used women during World War II. It is unfair to criticize only Japan.”

“The United States has shelved the history of using local women during the Vietnam War,” he also said.

Concerning his remarks that the system of comfort women was necessary, he explained, “I just said the military of the time was thinking it necessary.”

About his suggestion that U.S. servicemen in Japan use the country’s legal adult sex industry to prevent them from committing sex offenses — a remark Hashimoto said on Thursday lacked “international awareness” — he said, “I apologize to those working in the adult entertainment industry.”

Later on Sunday, Hashimoto met with Shintaro Ishihara, the party’s coleader, in Nagoya, apparently to talk over how to address the repercussions of Hashimoto’s remarks ahead of the Upper House election in July.

Separately, Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe said his party no longer plans to cooperate with Nippon Ishin in the July election. “It is not a party we should be teaming up with,” Watanabe told reporters.

  • KenjiAd

    He isn’t making any sense. That’s what happens when you try to spin something that has your own saliva all over the surface, making the whole thing too slippery to hold.

    If all he meant was to point out “the military of the time was thinking it necessary” as he now claims and he was indeed disagreeing with that kind of thinking, then why did he tell the commander of US Marines in Okinawa that they should utilize more of Japan’s ‘fuzoku’ services over there? Why did he even tell this story to reporters, unless he was trying to back up his opinion about the necessity of sex services for the military?

    Why can’t he just say he was an idiot, was sorry, and just resign?

  • http://twitter.com/asukamerafilm AS/IB

    He said U.S. military, and has given pain to the people of Okinawa.

    However, he does not speak that the Self-Defense Forces of Japan made ​​and sexual crimes against their own people.

    And to such things Okinawa Governor to say, why the mayor of Osaka will it say? Current state of the Osaka though it is a mess, what can afford to have to worry about other areas?

    He became governor of Osaka in the past. Achievement was only double the debt. At that time, he had quit in the middle of a term. It is too irresponsible, too.

    You might also quit in the middle this time.

  • Pat

    Ease up! Militarily bordellos have been used and approved by the American military for over a century; the only question for you is whether the workers were coerced. In Operation Dragoon, they barely had time to change the sheets the Nazis fled so quickly when the Allied forces invaded!

  • bsyoo2011

    I have the dream that all japanese politicians respect true history with sincere integrity. I have the dream no more outrageous offensive wording is done by them. just like german politicians do. At that time Japan deserve have true leadership with mature philosophy and value for world in Asia. That should be a vision of promsing rich Japan society. I believe this dream can come true by Japan
    only if they have the courage to see true history.

  • Masa Chekov

    He could dig himself slightly out of this hole if he could just say “Yes, the US and other countries have done this as well. They (and we) thought it was necessary at the time. This thinking is wrong, and I apologize for saying it was OK.”

    But he’s not that smart or principled. Just a thoughtless pig.

  • Sennin

    Politically Toru Hashimoto’s remarks on the comfort women issue are totally inappropriate, considering that there are so many people who believe that Japan abducted a huge number of Korean women to force them to work as sex slaves. This belief is widespread due to great efforts on the Korean side that hates Japan. It is a part of political propaganda that has been carried out by Korea and China for so long, and they have been so successful.

    Recently many Japanese citizens came to know the truth about the comfort women through the Internet. Before that, few people knew it because Japanese mass media had been hiding the truth. They never mention a word that might be taken as criticism against Korea and China.

    What Toru Hashimoto said about comfort women is more or less accurate historically, and there are many people who know it. That is why he keeps saying the same politically inappropriate things over and over again, despite the fact that Japanese mass media keeps taking the same old stance.

    First, comfort women were paid a huge amount of money, about four times as much as a male college graduate would make. They were offered a monthly salary of 13,300 US dollars plus an optional
    advance payment of 133,000 US dollars in terms of the current monetary
    value.

    Second, one plausible estimate says that 25% of the comfort women were Japanese, while 40% were Korean and 30% were Chinese. It is incorrect that only Korean women became comfort women.

    Third, they became comfort women of their own free will. There seems to have been cases in which they were forced into service, but that was illegal and those who forced women to become comfort women had been arrested and punished by the Japanese government during the war. The illegal way of recruiting comfort women using threats, deception, etc. seems to have been used both in Japan and Korea.

    Fourth, the illegal way of recruiting Korean women in Korea using threats, deception, etc. seems to have been carried out by Koreans themselves. In fact some of them were arrested by the Japanese government during the war.

    That is how the Japanese government came to be criticized for employing comfort women. Naturally there are people, like Toru Hashimoto, who think that the Japanese government should not be blamed for the use of the comfort-women system. The real question is who should take responsibilities for the women who were forced to become comfort women. The problem is that we do not know who did all this now except those arrested during the war.

    Personally I do not know whether the Japanese government is responsible for the illegal acts done by those Koreans and possibly Chinese. Maybe the Japanese government should have spent more time and energy to prevent it. But maybe even if they had done their best, they might not have been able to stop all of them.

    In any case, I think Koreans and Chinese should accept historical facts and express their views accordingly. Otherwise there would be more and more Japanese who hate Korea and China since this is the age of the Internet. Japanese mass media can no longer protect Korean and Chinese views.

    I really do not want those Japanese nationalists to gain power because we all need to build a peaceful society.

  • http://twitter.com/daboogah Just me

    someone should tell this idiot to shut up before he commits political genocide and takes out his own party.which aint a bad thing actually. dig deeper dude. believe in darwin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harry.jameson.710 Harry Jameson

    Is this guy brain dead? Why is he making enemies for Japan with his rhetoric?
    China and South Korea wants world opinion to turn against Japan, and
    he’s doing a great job of helping their cause. Toru Hashimoto is the
    Japanese version of Joe Walsh, formerly from the US House of
    Representative, who lost his seat in the House because he was arrogant and could not control his mouth. Toru Hashimoto, if you are reading this, please
    act like a Japanese and be humble. You are embarrassing the rest of your countrymen. Don’t you realize your country is finally coming out of its economic slump, and you are not helping it any? China, and South Korea depend on exports for their economic future. They don’t want to compete with Japan head to head because they would lose. Why do you think China and South Korea keep trying to put Japan down. You are falling into a trap set by them by taking the bait about the comfort women. Even if the ROK Army did the same thing in Vietnam, you make yourself look silly by saying that they did the same thing. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Japan makes superior products, but who would want to buy things from a country who has politicians thinking like you? You are a representative of the people. Please think before you speak. The whole world is watching, and what you say now will dictate what people will purchase in the future.

  • 仙人

    I checked out the comfort women issue with a friend. She knew it, but she believed that the Japanese government kidnapped thousands of women from Korea in order to have them work as comfort women and did not pay them any money.

    I pointed out that they applied for the job of their own free will and got a lot of money, 300 yen a month, for it. She said that she has never heard that story before.

    So I asked her what newspaper she reads, and she answered that she reads The Asahi Shimbun. Then she laughed a lot.