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  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:41pm
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JAPAN

Osaka mayor hits back at US in row over war sex slaves

Outspoken Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto accuses American troops of abusing Japanese women during their seven-year occupation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 May, 2013, 12:06pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 5:13am
 

Osaka’s abrasive mayor on Friday hit back at US criticism of his remarks on wartime sex slavery, claiming American troops abused Japanese women during their seven-year occupation.

Washington denounced as “outrageous” comments earlier this week by Toru Hashimoto, who said “comfort women” forced to provide sex to Japanese troops during the second world war were a military necessity.

“Mayor Hashimoto’s comments were outrageous and offensive,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, urging Tokyo to work with its neighbours to address the past issue.

Up to 200,000 “comfort women” from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere were forcibly drafted into brothels catering to the Japanese military during the second world war, according to many mainstream historians.

But Hashimoto, whose quick tongue and forthright approach has won him friends and enemies in equal measure, hit back on Twitter.

“Let me go straight to the point. When America occupied Japan, didn’t they make use of Japanese women?” Hashimoto Tweeted to his million followers.

Let me go straight to the point. When America occupied Japan, didn’t they make use of Japanese women? I can’t help but point out that it is unfair for America to criticise only Japan by putting aside acts by its own country

“I can’t help but point out that it is unfair for America to criticise only Japan by putting aside acts by its own country,” said Hashimoto, who has been mentioned as a possible future prime minister.

“(The United States) should face what the US military did against local women, in particular Okinawan women when they occupied Japan,” he added.

US-led Allied powers controlled Japan until 1952 following its surrender at the end of the second world war.

The southern prefecture of Okinawa remained under US governance for another two decades before being returned to Tokyo.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower is among credible sources who say American troops committed multiple rapes of Japanese women during the occupation and that press censorship muted reporting of these crimes.

Hashimoto also claimed that France and Germany were among countries that introduced wartime “comfort stations”.

“It is a historical fact that the comfort station system was used during the Korean war and the Vietnam war,” he tweeted. He gave no details of this claim and did not say which side’s soldiers used the brothels.

There is no mainstream evidence that modern militaries other than Japan’s have employed a formal sex slavery system.

On Monday, Hashimoto prompted outrage at home and abroad by saying that soldiers living with the daily threat of death needed some way to let off steam and that this was provided by the comfort women system.

He said he believed the system was wrong and that former sex slaves deserved an apology.

The opinion that there is no proof of direct involvement in the sex slave system by the state or the imperial army is not uncommon on the right of Japanese politics.

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ejmciii
And how much of this is the result of the Masters in Beijing increasing tensions with their neighbors. Japanese nationalists responding to Chinese nationalism that is backed up with military threats. Filipino coast guard on high alert responding to Chinese belligerence as we have seen numerous Chinese fishing and maritime survey vessels probing Japanese, Vietnamese and Filipino waters, with the implicit threat to accept Chinese hegemony in the region or else. You shall reap what you sow, Beijing.
secrets
This is why the Chinese have every right to be angry at the ****.
secrets
*Japan kills and rapes millions of innocent Chinese women in the World War* *Denies it and says "comfort women" were a necessity*
caractacus
Oh, and "Japan" did not deny it and say comfort women were a necessity, the obnoxious Mayor Hashimoto said it. Get your facts straight.
caractacus
Not just innocent Chinese women were raped and murdered. There were hundreds of thousands of women from other countries enslaved, raped and murdered too. Don't they count?
Dai Muff
I believe a few men were killed in the war too.
caractacus
Who is this ignorant little bigot?
Criminal offences by individual American servicemen (who if caught are charged and if convicted sentenced to prison) are a million miles away from the deliberate policies of savagery including enslavement, torture, rape, looting, burning and murder which the Japanese military systematically employed against tens of millions of civilians and the barbaric treatment of prisoners of war, few of whom lived to come home.
All decent Japanese people should be ashamed of Mayor Hashimoto and express their disgust.
TigerJ
How to rein in these spoiled US protégés in Asia:
* A Philippines patrol boat shot over 50 bullets at an unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat, killing 1 fisherman in the name of "territory sovereignty"
* A Japanese mayor announces that war sex slaves are a necessity for the troops...
caractacus
The stupid, ignorant, offensive Mayor Hashimoto is just one person. Attack his behaviour and remarks by all means, but please don't use his outrageous opinion to lump all Japanese together to justify your own nationalist bigotry. China is well on the way to being the new imperialist aggressor, so if you apply a benchmark of behaviour for Japan and the USA, apply it to your own country as well. Chinese are becoming well recognised for their double standards and nobody respects them for it.
babyhenry
Just one person? your the stupid and ignorant one. Tokyo Mayor aka the mastermind behind the Diaoyu island farce with the US so willingly to join the China bashing? Well time for the US to have a taste of its own ****.ty medicine.
Chinese double statndards are exactly another unforunately copy of the Western Japanese double standards "do what I say not what I do" or put in simplier terms so nut jobs like yoself can understand is . ME KILL OK, YOU KILL BAD BAD.

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