Osaka mayor denies ‘comfort women necessary’ remark

Tokyo, May 27 (IANS) Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto Monday denied his reported remarks on wartime “comfort women”, saying it was not his intention to say that women who were used as sex slaves during wartime are necessary.

The Japanese politician criticized media for “reporting only a portion of each of his remarks” and said the media reports were cut off from the whole context, reported Xinhua.

Hashimoto admitted to having said that the armed forces of nations in the world seemed to have needed women “during the past wars”, but his words were wrongly reported by media as if “he himself thought it as necessary for armed forces to use women and that he tolerated it”.

While denying having said that Japan’s wartime sex slave system was necessary, Hashimoto, however, apologised to the US Army for having said to the US commander in Okinawa that “the use of the legally accepted adult entertainment industry in Japan should be considered”.

“I understand that my remark could be construed as an insult to the US forces and to the American people and, therefore, was inappropriate. I retract this remark and express an apology,” Hashimoto said at a press conference.

Hashimoto, an outspoken right-wing politician as well as leader of the Japan Restoration Party, was reportedly tipped as a future prime minister despite a string of controversial comments.

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