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Do you agree with Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's comments on comfort women?

23 Comments
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No I hold a firm belief that the systematic rape and forced sexual slavery of anyone is deeply non-humanist behaviour. Attempting to justify these known actions of the Japanese government and military marks Hashimoto as a person not deserving of respect or my consideration. I certainly hope that Hashimoto is one day able to progress in his own humanity and understand why his stance is so appalling and both logically and emotionally indefensible.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Of course he was daft for saying what he said, though he's not 100% wrong. A bigger issue is, how the world can hypnotize themselves into thinking only Japanese soldiers did this during World War II, and that Koreans, Chinese, American, British, Filipino, Indian, French, German, Italian, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, and all other soldiers sat around reading bibles in between fighting. A portion of the women were enslaved, which is bad, while a portion (probably large) were daughters sold by their families because that's what you did when you had 19 children you couldn't feed back in the 1930s. A lot of Koreans no doubt willingly embraced Japan for the obvious strength of the country, happy to be part of their empire. (Nikkei Koreans living in Japan now are mostly descended from Koreans who emigrated here willingly, though South Korea likes to think that 100% of them were enslaved against their will, which is completely ignorant of history.)

-10 ( +12 / -21 )

Hashimoto is a rabid right winger and one of the few nationalists that requires concern. While his ideas are idiotic at best, he is young, TV savvy and sadly able to convince some people here to follow him. Should Japan end up in some kind of economic or political crisis, you could easily see this creep take greater power.

Just look at photos of Hitler and Tojo. Or even Mao for that matter. All it takes to become a powerful dictator is the right crisis. None of the other right wingers in Japan are a serious concern today. Most are Otaku dreaming of a history that actually never happened. Hashimoto is smart and does this sort of thing on purpose.

Hashimoto manipulates the press to keep his fame flame burning. All along drawing more and more nut case right wingers to admire him. And too many mainstreamers to apologize for him by offering modest sympathy with his views or excusing them as a valid, though unpleasant, opinion. This too is dangerous.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I am long on record as saying that China and Korea need to move past war-time grievances. People like Hashimoto are giving me reasons to reconsider my views.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He should have published his thought in English before arbitrary interpretation of his remarks got spreaded to the world.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Maltreatment and oppression of women is common during wartime. From East Asia to Western Europe in WW2 and conflicts in Africa and Middle East today. So it is true that for people to pretend this wasd only Japan is just wrong. however, doesn't mean this moron has to talk about it all the time and certainly not in approving terms.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I disagree wholeheartedly with what Hashimoto has been saying of late... BUT, S Korea and China need to let this lie now. By constantly raising the subject they are giving Hashimoto, and those like him on the right a platform from which to spout forth this garbage. Without an excuse to comment he won't and so the subject can be put to rest. Those right-wingers will never accept that enforced sex slavery was wrong, and the S Koreans and Chinese will never accept an apology, so it's a stalemate.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A bigger issue is, how the world can hypnotize themselves into thinking only Japanese soldiers did this during World War II, and that Koreans, Chinese, American, British, Filipino, Indian, French, German, Italian, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, and all other soldiers sat around reading bibles in between fighting.

The point here is that Hashimoto minimizes the scale of the comfort women problem, its seriousness and impact, not that soldiers from other countries may also have committed rape. So while this is a valid point to raise, it is irrelevant to this particular discussion.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Report from the UN Commission on Human Rights 1998 "Appendix: An analysis of the legal liability of the Government of Japan for 'comfort women stations' established during the Second World War": p. 38-62.

**Between 1932 and the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial Army forced over 200,000 women into sexual slavery in rape centres throughout Asia. These rape centres have often been referred to in objectionably euphemistic terms as “comfort stations”.

**It is now clear that both the Japanese Government and military were directly involved in the establishment of rape centres throughout Asia during the Second World War. The women who were enslaved by the Japanese military in these centres - many of whom were between the ages of 11 and 20 - were housed in locations throughout Japanese-controlled Asia, where they were forcibly raped multiple times on a daily basis and subjected to severe physical abuse and exposed to sexually transmitted diseases.

**the women, many of whom were still children at the time, were in fact enslaved in rape centres either directly by the Japanese military or with the full knowledge and support of the Japanese military.

The resolution was endorsed by a majority in favor on Aug. 27 at the 51st session of the *UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in Geneva from Aug. 2 to 27.

http://www.awf.or.jp/pdf/h0056.pdf

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I'd like to ask Hashimoto what these comments to do with being the Mayor of Osaka? His job is to manage and improve the city -- if he wants to be a "jouralist" or historian then he needs to resign. Come on people - everyone head down to city hall and demand Hashimoto to resign for not being interested in the Mayor's job.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They weren't "comfort women" they were SEX SLAVES

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Soldiers rape, that happens everyday all over the world. But rarely do nations institutionalize rape which is what Japan did in WW2 and during their colonial days. To deny this or justify it is inane. It would be like the US saying that the firebombing of Tokyo did not happen, that Japanese people set the fires themselves. Crazy talk. It is embarrassing for Japan to have Hashimoto deny reality, it makes the whole country look backward.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He shouldn't be taken seriously...because he views women as objects that satisfy needs, not as human beings.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He also reflects the current situation in Japan noted in a 2012 US State Department report.

Japan is a destination, source, and transit country for men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, and for children subjected to sex trafficking.

In addition, traffickers continued to use fraudulent marriages between foreign women and Japanese men to facilitate the entry of these women into Japan for forced prostitution. Japanese organized crime syndicates (the Yakuza) are responsible for some trafficking in Japan, both directly and indirectly. Traffickers strictly control the movements of victims, using debt bondage, threats of violence or deportation, blackmail, and other coercive psychological methods to control victims.

Japanese men continue to be a significant source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Mongolia.

The Government of Japan has not officially recognized the existence of forced labor within the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program, a government-run program designed to foster basic industrial skills and techniques and to provide opportunities to acquire practical skills and techniques.

The Government of Japan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012/192367.htm

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to this poll, so far 1 in 8 do!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He's nothing but a national disgrace. I'm embarrassed to live in Osaka.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Do you agree with Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's comments on comfort women?

And if so, are you a war criminal or in the process of committing war crimes?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Peter Payne: "A bigger issue is, how the world can hypnotize themselves into thinking only Japanese soldiers did this during World War II, and that Koreans, Chinese, American, British, Filipino, Indian, French, German, Italian, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, and all other soldiers sat around reading bibles in between fighting."

Do you see those nations saying it was a 'necessity' after trying first to downright deny it? Do you see those nations trying to take back apologies for atrocities? How people can defend what Hashimoto said is beyond me. Not quite as bad as Nishimura, mind you, but still horrible stuff and no words and no place for a politician.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So far, including my no vote, 14% say yes, and 81% say no.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower is among credible sources who say American troops committed multiple rapes of Japanese women during the occupation and that press censorship muted reporting of these crimes.

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1239674/us-slams-japan-mayors-comfort-women-remarks

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower"

Hate to break this to you, but borderline self-hating Japanophile Westerners with white skin like John Dower are NOT the target audience for those seeking to establish the idea of moral equivalency between imperial Japan and the allied powers during World War II. The best judges of addressing that issue are Southeast Asians, who experienced direct Western colonial rule prior to 1942 and then spent 3 years under the iron fist of their so-called "liberators" from Japan. Chinese in Hong Kong and other coastal areas under direct Western control prior to the Japanese invasion are also worth considering.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

37 people have voted yes? I can't believe that. Come on Japan Today readers, I thought we were all above that. Hashimoto needs to be thrown out of office as soon as possible. His statements have absolutely nothing to do with his duties as mayor. Definitely makes Japan the laughing stock of the international community.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

MASSWIPE

Only the Chinese? How about the Indonesians, Vietnamese, Malaysians and or other ethnic people?

If I remember correctly ethnic Chinese were acting as henchmen of the imperial ruling European colonist in which the indigenous people despised. In essence IJA crashed the status quo in which the ethnic Chinese did not approve.

I believe there is one biased moderator that cannot accept the Japanese side of the story which is completely unacceptable to maintain a leveled discussion.

Look this is a place of debate and not a place to force your opinion, if you can't accept it as a moderator then post it like everone else since it hinders debate not promote it .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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