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We lodge a strong protest against Osaka Mayor Hashimotofs remark that Japanese militaryfs forced prostitution of Asian women was necessary and demand he revoke it and resign

May 14, 2013
Zenroren Women Bureau

photoMayor of Osaka City HASHIMOTO Toru, who is also a co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, on May 13 said, gEveryone can understand that a comfort women system is necessary if you want to give soldiers some rest while risking their lives in the battlefield where bullets are flying like rainstorms.h The Women Bureau of Zenroren strongly protest against Mayor Hashimotofs remark that tramples upon the basic human rights of women and demand that he retract the verbal abuse.

Recently, when Hashimoto visited the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (in Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture), he suggested to a US commander that gthe Japanese sexual service industry be usedh to keep Marinesf sexual appetites under control. He reportedly said gJapan has places where sexual energy can be released within the law. It is impossible to control the sexual energy of Marines, the brave warriors, properly unless such places are officially made use of. Principles aside, I ask you to make good use of such places.h He was clearly despising women when he made the remark suggesting that it is natural to use women as a sexual instrument in the process of prosecuting violence called war.

In order to settle the historical problem of the former Japanese militaryfs use of gcomfort womenh, the Japanese government must listen in earnest to the women who were forced to serve the military as gcomfort womenh, apologize and compensate for them without refusing to look at the historical fact. Hashimotofs remark cannot be condoned as it tramples upon the dignity of women who are victims of the Japanese militaryfs sexual abuse.

photoWith his remarks that encourage the use of an illegal prostitution system despising women, Hashimotofs quality as a politician is being called into question. We demand that he retract his earlier statements and withdraw from politics.

The Zenroren Women Bureau is demanding that the Japanese government formally apologize and compensate for gcomfort womenh who were forced into sexual servitude during World War II. It is clear that Hashimotofs remarks were motivated by his aim to turn Japan into a country that can wage war by removing the constitutional ban on the country from going to war. We now realize how important it is for the Zenroren Women Bureau to keep calling for the removal of all US military bases from Japan and build Japan that can contribute to world peace guided by the preamble and Article 9 of the Constitution.

We, the Zenroren Women Bureau will make every effort to help strengthen the struggle to settle the gcomfort womenh issue as early as possible, remove all US military bases from Japan, and stop the moves to adversely revise the Constitution.

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