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'Japan singled out for comfort women'
Publication Date : 17-05-2013
Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) co-leader Toru Hashimoto on Thursday complained that only Japan has been criticised over wartime sex issues.
Speaking in a Fuji TV programme in the morning, Hashimoto said: “Concerning sex-related issues on the battlefield, terrible things were done in many countries. Yet only Japan has been criticised.”
Hashimoto pointed out the government’s inconsistent stance about the issue of so-called comfort women, especially on the forcible nature of recruitment.
“Regarding whether there was forcible recruitment of comfort women, the Kono statement [in 1993 by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono] seems to have admitted it, but the government denied it in its 2007 cabinet decision,” Hashimoto said.
Concerning his statement that he advised a senior official of US forces in Japan to allow soldiers to utilise sex-related services, he said he has since reflected on his remarks, saying he might have used the wrong expression.
“What I wanted to say was I’d like the US military to seriously control sex-related crimes of its servicemen,” the Osaka mayor said.
He later told reporters at the Osaka municipal government office that he would like to discuss the comfort women issue within Ishin no Kai. He also said he would not retract the statement to the US military on utilising sex-related businesses.
Hashimoto is scheduled to meet two former comfort women at the municipal government office next Friday.