Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka and co-leader of the nationalist Japan Restoration Party who made remarks that angered China and Korea earlier this week, took to Twitter to point fingers at the United States over the wartime use of "comfort women."
Hashimoto said American troops used Japanese women in the same way Japanese troops did in the rest of Asia and that Japan is being singled out unfairly, according to Kyodo News, a Japanese news agency.
Earlier this week, Hashimoto said that the Japanese military’s wartime practice of forcing Asian women into working as comfort women was necessary to provide relaxation for Japanese soldiers. He also angered the U.S. by suggesting that American troops based in southern Japan should patronize legal adult entertainment establishments to reduce sex crime there, according to USA Today.
“What Japan did, using women to solve sexual needs during the war, was indeed bad and misguided,” Hashimoto said and added that the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and other countries have all used “local women” in their conquests.
“To single Japan out is unfair,” Hashimoto’s Twitter post read. He added that the U.S. is a nation that values justice, and countries like the U.S. should engage in self-reflection.
The Japanese government is distancing itself from Hashimoto. “[Hashimoto’s remarks] are extremely offensive to the American army and we cannot take ... heed of it,” Yoshihisa Inoue, the secretary general of the New Komei Party said. The remarks of the leader of the Japan Restoration Party “may damage Japan’s international credibility,” Inoue added, according to Kyodo News.