Osaka mayor believes comfort women necessary

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Saturday, May 18, 2013


WELL, simply put, this is an outrage. Not only is it an affront to all the surviving comfort women who struggled through years of scorn being called traitors, collaborators and whores, but it’s also an insult to the people that were subjugated under the Japanese Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere during World War II.

Toru Hashimoto, who serves as the Mayor of Osaka, told reporters at his weekly press conference on May 13 that "anyone would understand" the role of "comfort women" when soldiers were risking their lives and that you wanted to give them "a rest."

Even though Hashimoto didn’t deny that the use of comfort women was a “tragic result of war”, he insisted that the use of sex slaves by invading Japanese troops was not only justifiable, but necessary.

Hashimoto is a member of the Japan Restoration Party, a right-wing nationalist party that insists that Japan’s Asian invasion was done in the best interests of all Asians, to “liberate” them from the “yoke of Western oppression.”

This is quite obviously a load of crap, since Japanese historians themselves have proven that the Emperor’s wartime plan, taken from his actual diary entries, emphasized the need to throw Western powers out of Asia only to assimilate Asian resources to fund the Japanese conquest of China.

In another unapologetically distasteful move, Hashimoto had a talk with an American military officer during a trip to the US Army’s base on Okinawa and told him that US military personnel should simply watch more porn, because according to Hashimoto, “…the marines won’t be able to control their sexual urges.” The American officer refused to discuss the matter any further.

Today, the many victims of Japan’s war crimes are in their 80s and 90s, but nonetheless will never forget how they were used like objects by their oppressors not only here in the Philippines, but in Korea and China as well.

Even so, the Japanese government refuses to give them any sort of reparation, and sometimes even tries to erase them from its national memory. For instance, there is a park in New Jersey dedicated to the memory of the comfort women that were maltreated during World War II.

When the Japanese found out about its existence, they offered the city a shipment of cherry trees in return for its removal. New Jersey respectfully refused.

The use of comfort women here in the Philippines and abroad is almost universally cited as a violation of human rights and an example of sexual slavery. It is saddening to know that these women who have suffered through hell during the war years might never get any kind of closure from their former captors, and that will mean that people like Hashimoto will have won, and that simply isn’t right.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 18, 2013.

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