Since Monday, when news broke that Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto said Japan's wartime "comfort women" system, which forced thousands of young females around Asia into sexual slavery, had been necessary at the time and that U.S. soldiers in Okinawa should use more prostitutes, the one unanswered question has been: Why did he say this?

Despite defending his remarks in hours of media briefings and more than 160 tweets to his more than 1 million followers nationwide, there is no consensus in or out of Osaka on what the motivation behind his remarks might have been.

Public and media speculation has abounded, though. First there is the thought, voiced by his most ardent supporters, that Hashimoto sincerely believed these issues needed to be aired now and that many Japanese in power quietly agree with him.