Term likens ‘slaves’ to livestock

The author of the June 12 article “San Francisco spurned Hashimoto amid sex slave outrage” might want to reconsider his choice of words in the last paragraph. One might “round up” cattle to be inspected or branded; one does not “round up” terrified young women to “serve as sex slaves in brothels serving the Imperial Japanese forces.”

Isn’t it insulting and degrading enough that Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto thought it was “necessary” for this misfortune to have befallen poor girls who were forcibly taken from their homes and families (or lied to about where they were going)? Do they also have to be compared to livestock?

david chester

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • Nazonohito

    The term “round up”–meaning to collect en masse–dates back to the 1600s. It was only about a 50-year period (mid-to-late 1800s) that it was used primarily for livestock. And, with the decline of open range cattle ranches in the 1900s, it has again taken become common-place to use in its original meaning. So, while it is not a particularly flattering term to use for people, it is accurate and does not necessarily have a negative connotation that would imply these women are being compared to livestock.