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Japanese Mayor Justifies Military Rape of Sex Slaves
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Conservatives say the darndest things – everywhere. Recently, it is timely for Japan to face some of the war crimes of World War 2, especially regarding atrocities of Imperial Japanese soldiers using women in China, Korea, and the Philippines as “comfort women,” in enforced military brothels for the soldiers. Certain to leave bitterness between nations and revolt our current sensibility, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said he did not intend to revise the official apologies that have already been made regarding the events. But a right-wing mayor of Osaka is forcing him to apologize a bit more; Toru Hashimoto has followed the conservative instinct of defending the state’s military, claiming that the use of enforced brothels was in fact necessary and good.

“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,” he told reporters. “That’s clear to anyone.”

  
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So in other words, military rape is necessary.

In response to such comments, Hong Lei, A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, “We are appalled and indignant about the Japanese politician’s comments boldly challenging humanity and historical justice. The way they treat the past will determine the way Japan walks toward the future. On what choice Japan will make, its Asian neighbors and the international community will wait and see.”

Japan’s relationship to other Asian countries during World War 2 in some ways runs parallel to the notoriety Germany gained for how it treated other countries in Europe in World War 2. To say the least, they are not issues that are taken lightly.

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Abe was forced to respond to Hashimoto’s brash words, saying, “The Japanese government has a different position to that expressed in [Hashimoto’s] comments, and as I have said countless times, I feel both great sadness and the deepest regret for the pain and suffering experienced at that time by the comfort women.”

Hashimoto, for his part, has also cleaned up his rhetoric, saying, “I don’t intend to justify [military brothels], but various countries at the time had similar schemes. I wanted to raise the issue of why Japan also is being criticized.” A different tact, but not exactly one owning up to the wrongness of the activity. Deferring blame is not accepting blame.



Yuji Yoshitomi, an Osaka journalist who has written a book about Hashimoto, said “He wasn’t trying to justify the use of comfort women, but he didn’t explain himself properly and has now caused an international incident,” as he said to the Christian Monitor. In other words, a whole lot of back-peddling, as conservatives sometimes do, in a rhetoric that attempts to be patriotic despite their countries doing things one shouldn’t feel patriotic about.



 

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