• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:31am
NewsAsia
JAPAN

Osaka mayor says Allied soldiers raped French women after D-Day

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 June, 2014, 10:35pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 June, 2014, 4:10am
 

Allied soldiers liberating France during the second world war raped French women after pushing back the Germans, an outspoken Japanese politician has claimed, as Tokyo comes under pressure over its wartime system of sex slavery.

Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Japan's second city, Osaka, who was once seen as a future prime minister, argued in a weekend speech that Japan must admit its own historical wrongdoings while also pointing out the mistakes of others, the Mainichi Shimbun said.

"After landing in Normandy, Allied soldiers raped French women. 'Comfort stations' were built after things became too much," he said in the speech, using a euphemism for brothels, according to the newspaper.

"It is a historical fact. It is an unfortunate past. We must never repeat it," he said in the public address.

The comment is the latest instance of a right-wing politician jumping feet first into the sensitive topic of the Japanese use of coerced prostitution during the second world war, which saw thousands of women - mainly Koreans - forced to work in brothels.

Japan has officially apologised for the system and maintains that a treaty normalising ties with South Korea decades ago settled the issue.

Conservatives, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, believe Japan is unfairly singled out for wrongs that were more widespread than their accusers admit.

However, historians agree that while there were rapes by allied soldiers in Normandy, there is no generally accepted evidence of officially sanctioned sex attacks by any military during the second world war other than the Japanese.

"Europeans and Americans say 'Japanese used sex slaves'. We have to educate Japanese who would be able to argue and reply to them, 'We were wrong, but you were wrong as well'," Hashimoto said in the speech, according to the Mainichi.

Hashimoto, whose opposition party has fractured, is well known for stirring controversy.

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This article is now closed to comments

mh0908
May peace prevail on earth.
Max Diethelm
Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Japan's second city, Osaka should also acknowledge the Japanese use of hundred of thousands of Japanese women to serve as prostitutes for the US occupation force after Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945. There were hundreds of 'Comfort stations' set up by the Japanese to serve the occupying US forces.
Paradox314
nice shot - you are hoping to kill 2 birds with one stone!
Daniel Lee
Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto claiming Allied soldiers raped French women after D-Day may be true. It's just like the American GIs in Okinawa raping Japanese women. However what's does those rapes got to do with the Japanese sex-slaves issues in which the Japanese military forced and organised hundreds of thousands of women to become sex slaves? The latter is a war crime and the idiot Toru Hashimoto is comparing apples to oranges. The Japanese are so dishonourable!
sipsip1238
Tiny steps towards admitting wrong, hopefully one day it'll lead to admitting Nanking.
Then maybe our government will admit to 4 June, but then again, that depends on how much our government wants to move forward.
baysidedweller
"the mayor of Japan's second city" - FYI, Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, not Osaka.
What is the logic that Hashimoto brought this up? That the allied forces are as guilty as the Japanese?
For the mayor of the third largest city in Japan to make such a remark is incredible.
jiawang@adb.org
Don't bring up the mass, systematic rape of German women by the heroic Soviet soldiers after the defeat of Germany.
Don't bring up the mass, systematic rape of Bangladeshi women by Pakistani soldiers during the 1971
Bangladesh Liberation War.
Women are the most defenseless victims in any war!!
req
I'm sure his mother knows all about that profession.
Paradox314
i don't support this fellow at all - I think he's singing way off key - but your comment is really inappropriate!
happycamper
What kind of twisted moral/ethical code dictates that we must admit our own faults while also pointing out those of others?

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