Japanese Mayor Believes in the Power of Sex Slaves

Osaka Mayor and deputy leader of the Japan Restoration Pary (JRP) Toru Hashimoto answers questions during a press conference in Tokyo on November 29, 2012. The Japan Restoration Party announced policy platform ahead of the general election on November 29, 2012. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

Osaka’s young, conservative mayor, Toru Hashimoto, has spoken out in defense of the Japanese Imperial Army’s forced sexual slavery of some 200,000 mostly Chinese and Korean so-called “comfort women” during World War II. “To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time,” Hashimoto said, according to an AP report. “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. That’s clear to anyone.” (This is less clear to the activists and survivors who have sought national recognition and compensation in past decades.) Hashimoto urged U.S. troops in southern Japan “to make better use of the sex industry” while there. “If you don’t make use of those places you cannot properly control the sexual energy of those tough guys,” he said. It’s good to know other countries are run by outspoken, anachronistic men, too.