Japanese Mayor Defends Wartime Systematic Rape Of Asian Women

Discussion in 'Japanese Chat' started by ralphrepo, May 14, 2013.

  1. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

    I'm aghast. Talk about not getting it; I can't believe any politician, Japanese or otherwise, would have the audacity to defend, even in extremis of war, such systematic inhumane depravity. In articles in Yahoo and the New York Times, below:

    In A Hurry? Just Read The RED HIGHLIGHTED LINES For A Quick Synopsis.

    Japanese mayor: Wartime sex slaves were necessary
    Associated Press

    TOKYO (AP) — An outspoken nationalist mayor said the Japanese military's forced prostitution of Asian women before and during World War II was necessary to "maintain discipline" in the ranks and provide rest for soldiers who risked their lives in battle. The comments made Monday are already raising ire in neighboring countries that bore the brunt of Japan's wartime aggression and have long complained that Japan has failed to fully atone for wartime atrocities. Toru Hashimoto, the young, brash mayor of Osaka who is co-leader of an emerging conservative political party, also said that U.S. troops currently based in southern Japan should patronize the local sex industry more to help reduce rapes and other assaults.

    Hashimoto told reporters on Monday that there wasn't clear evidence that the Japanese military had coerced women to become what are euphemistically called "comfort women" before and during World War II. "To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time," Hashimoto said. "For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That's clear to anyone." Historians say up to 200,000 women, mainly from the Korean Peninsula and China, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers in military brothels.

    China's Foreign Ministry criticized the mayor's comments and saw them as further evidence of a rightward drift in Japanese politics under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "We are appalled and indignant about the Japanese politician's comments boldly challenging humanity and historical justice," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily media briefing. "The way they treat the past will determine the way Japan walks toward the future. On what choice Japan will make, the Asian neighbors and the international community will wait and see." Asked about a photo of Abe posing in a fighter jet with the number 731 — the number of a notorious, secret Japanese unit that performed chemical and biological experiments on Chinese in World War II — Hong again urged Japan not to whitewash history so as to improve relations with countries that suffered under Japanese occupation. "There is a mountain of definitive iron-hard evidence for the crimes they committed in the Second World War. We hope Japan will face and contemplate their history of aggression and treat it correctly," Hong said. Abe posed, thumbs up, in the aircraft during a weekend visit to northeastern Japan.

    South Korea's Foreign Ministry expressed disappointment over what it called a senior Japanese official's serious lack of historical understanding and respect for women's rights. It asked Japan's leaders to reflect on their country's imperial past, including grave human rights violations, and correct anachronistic historical views. Hashimoto said he recently visited Okinawa in southern Japan and told the U.S. commander there "to make better use of the sex industry." "He froze, and then with a wry smile said that is off-limits for the U.S. military," he said. "I told him that there are problems because of such formalities," Hashimoto said, explaining that he was not referring to illegal prostitution but to places operating within the law. "If you don't make use of those places you cannot properly control the sexual energy of those tough guys." Calls to the after-hours number for U.S. Forces in Japan were not answered.

    Hashimoto's comments came amid continuing criticism of Abe's earlier pledges to revise Japan's past apologies for wartime atrocities. Before he took office in December, Abe had advocated revising a 1993 statement by then Prime Minister Yohei Kono acknowledging and expressing remorse for the suffering caused to the sexual slaves of Japanese troops. Abe has acknowledged "comfort women" existed but has denied they were coerced into prostitution, citing a lack of official evidence. Recently, top officials in Abe's government have appeared to backpedal on suggestions the government might revise those apologies, apparently hoping to ease tensions with South Korea and China and address U.S. concerns about Abe's nationalist agenda. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga repeated the previous government position and said those women went through unbearable pain. "The stance of the Japanese government on the comfort women issue is well known. They have suffered unspeakably painful experiences. The Abe Cabinet has the same sentiments as past Cabinets," he said. Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura said Hashimoto's remark was unhelpful given the criticism Japan faces from neighboring countries and the U.S. over its interpretation of history. "A series of remarks related to our interpretation of (wartime) history have been already misunderstood. In that sense, Mr. Hashimoto's remark came at a bad time," Shimomura told reporters. "I wonder if there is any positive meaning to intentionally make such remarks at this particular moment." Hashimoto, 43, is co-head of the newly formed Japan Restoration Party with former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, who is a strident nationalist. Sakihito Ozawa, the party's parliamentary affairs chairman, said he believed Hashimoto's remarks reflected his personal views, but he expressed concerns about possible repercussions. "We should ask his real intentions and stop this at some point," he said.

    Associated Press writers Elaine Kurtenbach, Miki Toda and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, Sam Kim in Seoul and Zhao Liang in Beijing contributed to this report.

    In A Hurry? Just Read The RED HIGHLIGHTED LINES For A Quick Synopsis.

    May 13, 2013
    Women Forced Into WWII Brothels Served Necessary Role, Osaka Mayor Says

    TOKYO — The mayor of one of Japan’s largest cities, who is seen by some as a possible future prime minister, drew an outcry on Monday after he said women forced into wartime brothels for the Japanese Army during World War II had served a necessary role in providing relief for war-crazed soldiers. Toru Hashimoto, the populist mayor of Osaka, also said American soldiers stationed in Okinawa should make more use of the island’s adult entertainment industry, which he said would reduce the incidence of sexual crimes against local women. Lawmakers and human rights groups swiftly condemned the remarks. So did South Korea, whose citizens made up the bulk of the so-called comfort women who served Japanese soldiers in military brothels. South Korea’s Yonhap News quoted a senior government official there as saying Mr. Hashimoto’s comments exposed “a serious lack of historical understanding and a lack of respect for human rights.” The conduct of the Japanese military in Asia before and during World War II remains a highly charged topic between Japan’s neighbors, who say Tokyo has not properly atoned for its history of wartime atrocities, and those, like Mr. Hashimoto, who feel that Japan has been unfairly demonized.

    Some historians estimate that 200,000 women were rounded up from across Asia to work as comfort women for the Japanese Army. Other historians put that number in the tens of thousands, and say they served of their own will. Japan formally apologized to the comfort women in 1993. Mr. Hashimoto told reporters in Osaka on Monday that they had served a useful purpose. “When soldiers are risking their lives by running through storms of bullets, and you want to give these emotionally charged soldiers a rest somewhere, it’s clear that you need a comfort women system,” he said. When pressed later, he insisted that brothels “were necessary at the time to maintain discipline in the army.” Other countries’ militaries used prostitutes, too, he said, and added that in any case there was no proof that the Japanese authorities had forced women into servitude. Instead, he put the women’s experiences down to “the tragedy of war,” and said surviving comfort women now deserved kindness from Japan.

    Mr. Hashimoto is a co-leader of the Japan Restoration Association, a populist party with 57 lawmakers in Parliament. His comments followed those of a string of Japanese politicians who have recently challenged what they say is a distorted view of Japan’s wartime history. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seemed to question whether Japan was the aggressor during the war, saying the definition of “invasion” was relative. Mr. Abe’s comments heightened fears that he might seek to revise or even repudiate apologies that Japan has made to victims of its wartime conduct. The 1993 apology to comfort women and another in 1995 to nations that suffered from Japanese aggression during the war have been condemned by Japanese ultranationalists.

    Mr. Hashimoto’s remarks swiftly drew widespread public rebuke. “The comfort women system was not necessary,” said Banri Kaieda, president of the opposition Democratic Party. That Japan was the clear aggressor in war “is a fact we must face up to,” he said. Mr. Hashimoto also said Monday that he had told a senior American military official at the Marine Corps base in Okinawa that United States soldiers should make more use of the local adult entertainment industry to reduce sexual crimes against local women. “We can’t control the sexual energy of these brave marines,” Mr. Hashimoto said he had told the American officer, whom he did not identify, on a recent visit there. “They must make more use of adult entertainers.” Early Tuesday, Mr. Hashimoto took to Twitter, on which he has over a million followers, to suggest that the United States was no better than Japan because prostitution is rife around American bases. He also argued that by banning troops from all forms of adult entertainment in Japan, the United States military was discriminating against women legally working in that business. In a comment posted on its Web site, the Women’s Action Network, which advocates for women’s rights in Japan, called Mr. Hashimoto’s earlier comments “shocking.”

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/w...-a-necessary-role.html?ref=hirokotabuchi&_r=0
    #1 ralphrepo, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  2. turbobenx

    turbobenx .........

    bunch of horny guys in the military.....
  3. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

    There will always be horny guys in the military; but when a state sanctions rape via a systematic mechanism, that's taking war crime to a whole new level. This politician is now trying to not only excuse it, but to justify it as necessary.
  4. surplusletterbox

    surplusletterbox Well-Known Member

    Never mind that Japanese Mayor, look no further than within each Asian country individually and see how the in country Mayors either silently condone it, make profit from it, or not done enough about rape and prostitution now. Sex slaves, child slaves, money slaves exist today in many Asian countries living on less than $1 a day . What are we going to action that is effective to stop what is happening now that counts for the living!
  5. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

    As with all politicos that have 'foot in mouth' disease, damage control then becomes almost a second calling. After letting his mouth get the better of him, Osaka mayor, Toru Hashimoto attempts to backtrack on his previous comments, only to cause more angst.

    In A Hurry? Just Read The RED HIGHLIGHTED LINES For A Quick Synopsis.

    May 27, 2013
    Japanese Politician Reframes Comments on Wartime Brothels

    TOKYO — Seeking to quell an uproar over his recent comments suggesting that sexual slavery was a necessary evil in Japan’s imperial past, a populist party leader said Monday that he had not meant to justify wartime brothels or deny the women’s suffering at the hands of Japanese soldiers. But the politician, Toru Hashimoto, who is a co-leader of the opposition Japan Restoration Association and the mayor of Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, also argued that Japan was being unfairly singled out for its use of so-called comfort women, and that other nations needed to examine the mistreatment of women by their own militaries before pointing the finger at Tokyo.

    “We must express our deep remorse at the violation of the human rights of these women by Japanese soldiers in the past, and make our apology to the women,” Mr. Hashimoto said, speaking to journalists at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. But, he added, “it is not a fair attitude to blame only Japan, as if the violation of human rights of women by soldiers were a problem unique to Japanese soldiers.” The conduct of the Japanese military in Asia before and during World War II remains a highly charged topic in the region. Many of the country's neighbors say Japan has not properly atoned for its wartime atrocities, while segments of Japan's establishment feel that the country has been unfairly demonized.

    Some historians estimate that 200,000 women were rounded up across Asia to provide sex for the Japanese military. Other historians put that number in the tens of thousands and say the women served of their own will.
    Japan formally apologized to the women in 1993. Two South Korean women who served as “comfort women” canceled a meeting with Mr. Hashimoto last week, saying in a statement that they were heartbroken over the mayor’s “outrageous comments.” Historians say the women who served in Japan’s military brothels came from the Korean Peninsula, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan, among other places.

    South Korea’s foreign minister, Yun Byung-se, called Mr. Hashimoto’s latests remarks “embarrassing and shameful,” and said they would “further isolate Japan in the international community.” Mr. Hashimoto charged that Britain, France, Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States were guilty of similar violations of women’s rights in World War II, as were South Korean soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. He urged those countries to acknowledge their past on the issue before scrutinizing Japan’s wartime history. He also invoked a belief shared by many Japanese, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that there was no evidence to suggest that Japan’s wartime government directly forced women to serve in the brothels. He brushed aside testimony to the contrary from a number of women who had been enslaved as unreliable. Mr. Hashimoto’s comments followed those of a string of Japanese politicians who had recently challenged what they said was a distorted view of Japan’s wartime history. Last month, Mr. Abe seemed to question whether Japan was the aggressor during the war, saying the definition of “invasion” was relative.

    But even Mr. Abe and his cabinet have distanced themselves from Mr. Hashimoto in recent weeks as he has tried to correct what he believes is an erroneous view of Japan’s wartime history. Mr. Hashimoto’s controversial remarks — sometimes in the form of an outpouring of posts on Twitter — have incited a furor from human rights groups here and have alienated much of the public. About 400 human rights activists staged a protest outside the Osaka city office this month, calling on Mr. Hashimoto to resign. After he made his initial remarks on “comfort women” on May 13, the State Department called them “outrageous and offensive.” While the audience for Mr. Hashimoto’s speech on Monday was made up of foreign journalists, his comments were as much a plea to domestic voters before parliamentary elections this summer as they were an attempt to sway global public opinion. Public approval ratings for Mr. Hashimoto, who was once seen as a possible contender for prime minister, have plummeted, and a smaller party has called off plans to cooperate with him in the coming elections, citing his remarks on women.

    During his speech, Mr. Hashimoto apologized for suggesting to a senior American military official stationed on the island of Okinawa that United States troops at bases there should make more use of the local adult entertainment industry to reduce sexual crimes against women. “That was not what I meant,” Mr. Hashimoto said. “My real intention was to prevent a mere handful of American soldiers from committing crimes. In attempting to act on my strong commitment to solving the problem in Okinawa stemming from crimes committed by a minority of U.S. soldiers, I made an inappropriate remark.” Still, Mr. Hashimoto did not shy away from delving into his interpretation of wartime brothels. Many wartime brothels were run not by Japanese, but by local brokers on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere, he said. And though some brothels were run by Japan’s wartime military, he said the military's main task was to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases for the sake of the women. He stressed that while Japanese military boats and trucks were sometimes used to transport women to the brothels, the authorities themselves were not deeply involved in the coercion of women. He said he did not believe that Japan’s actions amounted to human trafficking. Banri Kaieda, who leads the opposition Democratic Party, advised Mr. Hashimoto to stop talking before he made the situation even worse. “There is a Chinese saying, ‘You cannot wrap a fire with paper,' ” Mr. Kaieda said at a news conference. With Mr. Hashimoto, he said, “it’s as if he is trying to wrap it with oil instead.”

    And a video report from the BBC:

    #5 ralphrepo, May 27, 2013
    Last edited: May 27, 2013