Osaka’s outspoken mayor Toru Hashimoto has found himself back in the center of controversy as he slammed the United States’ criticism of his earlier comments regarding “comfort women” in World War II, saying that American soldiers themselves abused Japanese women when they occupied the Japanese islands after their surrender.
Hashimoto had earlier insinuated that Japan’s “comfort women” system – when up to 200,000 women from Korea, China, and the Philippines among others were forced to serve in military brothels catering to the Japanese soldiers – was a military necessity, saying that this was the only way Japanese soldiers could “let off steam”. Washington denounced these comments as “outrageous”. The U.S. State Department’s spokesperson Jen Psaki said that “Mayor Hashimoto’s comments were outrageous and offensive.” The U.S. also urged the Japanese government to work with its Asian neighbors to address the past issue.
But Hashimoto, whose outspoken approach has seen him step on a number of political toes even as he has become popular, slammed the U.S. using his social media account on Twitter. “Let me go straight to the point. When America occupied Japan, didn’t they make use of Japanese women?” Hashimoto tweeted to over a million Twitter users that follow his account. “I can’t help but point out that it is unfair for America to criticize only Japan by putting aside acts by its own country,” said Hashimoto. “(The United States) should face what the US military did against local women, in particular Okinawan women when they occupied Japan,” he added. The Allied powers had been in control of Japan until 1952 after WWII.
He also proceeded to seemingly defend his earlier comments as he claimed that France and Germany were countries that introduced similar 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. Hashimoto did not give any explanation to substantiate these claims. There is also no known historical evidence that modern militaries, other than Japan’s, have employed a sex slavery system as widespread as Japan did in WWII.
[via Channel News Asia]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan