As Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto continues to dig himself into a deeper hole over comments he made last week about Japan’s use of sexual slavery during World War II, his Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) made the decision to expel lawmaker Shingo Nishimura for making a statement in what can only politely be deemed a lapse of judgement. On Friday of last week, House of Representatives member Nishimura stated that Japan was overrun with South Korean prostitutes.
Ichiro Matsui, who serves as both the secretary-general for the JRP, as well as the governor of Osaka Prefecture, said that the party decided on Saturday to expel Nishimura, following his offer to leave the party, made immediately after his insensitive comment. Matsui added that he had recommended the lawmaker resign and return his Lower House seat to the JRP, however Nishimura has said he will make that decision on his own.
While Nishimura has certainly made his view of present day women in Japan clear, and while Hashimoto is attempting to backtrack on last week’s statements, or at least trying to clarify what he feels was misrepresentation by the media, it certainly begs the question of why the Osaka mayor hasn’t felt any repercussion from within his party. Then again, with a majority of the Japanese public disagreeing with Hashimoto, and feeling that his comments were out of line, it just may be that he has already condemned the JRP to the fringe of mainstream politics.