Japan’s wartime “comfort women” military brothel system can never be “condoned” or “justified” but the world should also address similar human rights violations against females in other conflict zones, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto argued Monday in front of foreign reporters.

Hashimoto, co-leader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), held the press conference to salvage his and his party’s fortunes amid the firestorm he sparked with his earlier remarks that the comfort women system was “necessary” during the war, using the Japanese euphemism for the system of sexual servitude involving women and girls forced to work in military brothels.

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