Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Osaka: What do you make of Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s comments about “comfort women” and his suggestion that U.S. forces in Okinawa use local brothels?

Edo Lastiri
“Retired hippie,” 70 (American)

He’s a perfect example of why “diapers and politicians should be changed often, and for the same reason”! He’s too incompetent for Osaka, and should be “promoted” to national government. I’ve lived here for 30 years; I miss the old days when mayors and governors concentrated on administering Osaka and stayed out of the limelight. Hashimoto should take his showboating to Tokyo and leave Osaka under the radar.

Masaaki Nagai
Shop staff, 44 (Japanese)

I think he’s trying to do too much, and should just focus on boosting business and tourism in Osaka. South Koreans and Chinese are the top tourists visiting Japan, and the Osaka economy really needs them, so his comments do not help us at all. He should leave such matters to the national government and think about promoting Osaka first whenever he speaks out.

Motoko Aimoto
University lecturer, 55 (Japanese)

His comments were stupid, to be honest. I get what he was trying to say, but he should watch his words and realize the power they have. The media may try to bait him with controversial questions but he should be smart enough to avoid answering rather than offer his personal opinions. That might have been fine when he was a TV commentator, but not now that he’s a representative of Osaka.

Jan Merkle
Electrician student, 20 (German)

Kansai has no military bases, so why is he giving advice to U.S. forces in Okinawa about something he has no experience of? Maybe he was trying to sympathize with the Okinawans, but he seems to have just made things worse. And why is a city mayor creating a news scandal by talking about controversial historical matters unrelated to his city? I hope Japan can get along with its postwar neighbors like Germany does.

Tomohiko Tanaka
Home helper, 25 (Japanese)

He’s giving Osaka a bad name. I liked him at first because when he first appeared on the scene he was a breath of fresh air in a stagnant political climate, but now his right-wing nationalism and heavy-handed management style are polluting the atmosphere here. I’ve lost my faith in him as our leader; the people gave him a chance, and he blew it.

Dom Steward
Marketing manager, 47 (Scottish)

Hashimoto is a lying, thieving bastard like all politicians, so who gives a f—k what he says? He’s only saying all that to stay in the news, but he’s an embarrassment to Osaka and I hope he doesn’t get re-elected. But politics is such a mess that he’ll probably become prime minister in five or 10 years! He’s such an idiot that I don’t even want to hear about him anymore.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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