The Korean is having a very busy stretch, but he cannot let this one slide:
Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto refused Wednesday to back down from his comments about the necessity of the “comfort woman” system during the war or the desirability of legal brothels in Okinawa for U.S. military personnel.
. . .
On his advice to American officials in Okinawa earlier this month that U.S. military personnel should make more use of sex establishments as a way of controlling their sexual urges, Hashimoto said he did not tell the U.S. that it should use such facilities, or to build such facilities, noting it was only a suggestion.
Hashimoto sticks to guns on sex slaves [Japan Times]
When the Korean wrote the long series on Korea-Japan relations to explain why Koreans are still angry with the Japanese, a lot of people responded: "Today's Japan is a very different place from the Imperial Japan during World War II. So Koreans should just get over it."
Is it now? Today's Japan has a mayor of a major city, who is considered a potential future Prime Minister, telling the world that sex slaves are necessary in times of war and the U.S. forces in his own country should visit brothels more often. Today's Japan has a Prime Minister who is a grandson of a Class A war criminal. But rather than having a heightened consciousness about his country's past crimes, he sits in an airplane with the number 731--clear invocation of Unit 731, which conducted live human experimentation during World War II--grinning and giving a thumbs-up.
The fact that these two leaders think Japan did nothing wrong during World War II was hardly a secret. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced to the world that he would withdraw Japan's apology to former Comfort Women, and denied that Imperial Japan forcibly recruited the Comfort Women to serve as sex slaves. Yet the Japanese people overwhelmingly elected Abe, as well as the candidates for the far-right Japan Restoration Party, to which Mayor Hashimoto belongs.
By the way, the former Comfort Women are still holding their weekly protest in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. They have been protesting every week, without fail, for more than 20 years. Commemorating the 1000th Wednesday Protest, this is what the Korean wrote:
The Japanese people I know are wonderful, kind, artistic, gritty and civic-minded people, worthy of deep admiration. But the longer this takes, I cannot draw myself away from this appalling conclusion: Japan, as a whole, does not think it did anything wrong to these women. I desperately want to believe that the Japanese people are not amoral monsters, who would rather play the cynical waiting game until all of the former Comfort Women die away. But each time the Wednesday protesters are turned away, each time the Japanese Embassy protests a statue commemorating the Comfort women, my faith in human decency, common among all people of all places and times, gets chipped away little by little.
With these two latest scandals, the Korean's faith in the decency of the Japanese people took a very large hit. Did Japan really change? You tell me.
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