Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hashimoto’s unacceptable words

Remarks by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto on Japan’s wartime military sex slave system have once again raised serious questions about his nationalistic views and his understanding of human rights. Hashimoto claimed that the sex slave system was necessary to maintain discipline in the Imperial Japanese armed forces and stressed that there was no proof that the Japanese state kidnapped women and forced them to become sex slaves. This statement flies in the face of the indisputable fact that the most fundamental human rights of tens of thousands of Asian women were violated by the Japanese military. His “logic” is that frontline soldiers and young servicemen stationed abroad need women’s sexual services for rest and relaxation so discipline can be maintained. He clearly believes that the war effort justified the subjugation of women as sex slaves. This view of women being first and foremost sex objects for men not only rubs salt in the wounds of former sex slaves but is an insult to the dignity of all women. Japan should realize that their nationalistic agenda and moves to weaken constitutional democracy will only serve to undermine international trust in Japan and inflame regional tensions.

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