May 14, 2013 09:24
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto on Monday said women who were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese troops during World War II were "necessary." The remark by Hashimoto, who is also co-leader of the far-right Japan Restoration Party (JRP) and a rising star in Japanese politics, is just the latest in a series of extreme views he has expressed.
"When bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives. If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary," Hashimoto said. "Anyone can understand that."
He claimed his historical research has revealed that the Japanese Imperial Army was not the only one to use sex slaves.
He also claimed there is no proof that the women were abducted and forced into sexual slavery and added it is "problematic" that Japan is being viewed negatively due to what he called "propaganda" by Korea and other countries.
He went on to criticize Japanese lawmakers, saying they failed to apologize for things that need to be addressed and speak out on issues that need explanations.
The JRP wants to revise Japan's pacifist postwar constitution and bolster its military. At present, the sole official function of the Japanese military is to protect the country from invasion.
In August last year, Hashimoto also claimed there is no evidence that the so-called "comfort women" were forced into sexual slavery.
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