There remains today heated emotions over the issue of comfort women used for sex by the Japanese military during World War II. The controversy surrounding this dark chapter in Japanese history is shared with Americans by many Japanese citizens, as seen by the recent mess Osaka Mayor Hashimoto has gotten himself into dealing with comments about comfort women. Reiji Yoshida reported for The Japan Times on May 28, 2013, in Tokyo, Hashimoto looks to deflect sex slave blame.
The besieged mayor has blasted the press over it’s handling of this story, saying other armies also have abused females. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto argued Monday in front of foreign reporters that 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. Hashimoto made these comments in the aftermath of a firestorm of protest which he sparked off with his earlier remarks that the comfort women system was necessary during the war.
Hashimoto has blamed the press for only using excerpts of his remarks to paint the wrong picture of what he really meant. He says he never condoned the use of comfort women and that he places great importance on the dignity of the human rights of women. In regard to his comment that the “comfort women system was necessary in order to provide relaxation for those brave soldiers who had been in the line of fire,” he insists he didn’t mean to say that he considered it necessary for the armed forces to use women, but that the armed forces believed this was necessary.
Jezebel reports, Osaka Mayor Offers Non-Apology for ‘Comfort Women’ Comments.
Mayor Hashimoto of Osaka, Japan has apologized for one offensive comment he made about contemporary American Marines making more use of Japan’s local, legal sex industry to relieve their sexual energy, as he appeared to stand by the other offensive comment he made about Japanese comfort women being a necessary evil during World War II. He has commented that “There are places that operate within the boundaries of the law which can be used for releasing sexual frustration, so the U.S. military should fully utilize it or the Marines won’t be able to control their aggressive sexual desires.”
Hashimoto than said his words “could be construed as an insult to the U.S. forces and to the American people, and therefore was inappropriate.” Regarding his comment that the comfort women system during World War II was “a necessary system to maintain military discipline,: Hashimoto has remained stubbornly unapologetic, claiming that his words had been taken out of context by the press, and that he was not morally justifying the Japanese Army’s treatment of comfort women during World War II. The stories of the tens of thousands of women who worked in brutal conditions in Japanese military brothels during World War II remains an emotionally charged chapter in Japan’s controversial history.