A rally will be held at the San Francico Japanese Consulate demanding the immediate removal of Osaka's mayor Toru Hashimoto. Hashimoto defended the use of sexual slaves by the Japanese military during the 2nd WW and also the use of prostitutes in the US bases in Okinawa to prevent rapes. He has also supported the continued operation of nuclear plants and the arrest of anti-nuclear activists in Osaka. The militarization and continued support for restarting Japan's 50 nuclear plants is a threat not only to the Japanese people but to the world. The continued release of radioactive material at Fukushima and the thousands of gallons of contaminated water continues to leak into the land and the ocean.
We must act now to stop the restart of the plants. The victory in the battle to close the SCE San Onofre Nuclear Power plant shows that people can have an affect to shut these dangerous plants down.
6/11 Japan Consulate Action-Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Out-Keep The Nukes Shut And Stop Repressing Anti-Nuke Activists
Tuesday June 11, 2013 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
San Francisco Japanese Consulate
50 Fremont St./Mission
The recent comments of Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto that the sexual slaves from Korea and other countries of Asia for the Japanese imperial army and navy were necessary to maintain good discipline among the troops, and that prostitution was justifiable for the US military in Okinawa as a means to avoid rapes, are despicable and we condemn them.
These statements, however, do not come in a vacuum. The Japanese government and the Abe administration are seeking to eliminate Article 9, the anti-war clause in the Japanese constitution, and to remilitarize the country. While trying to whip up nationalist war hysteria, they have fired teachers who refuse to stand and sing the national imperial anthem at school assemblies.
Hashimoto has also supported the jailing in Osaka of anti-war and anti-nuclear activists activists who are opposing the central government’s plan to burn nuclear rubble in all of the prefectures of Japan.
The US government is protesting Hashimoto’s remarks regarding the organized enslavement of ‘comfort women’ during WWII. However, the US government is also urging Japan to eliminate the anti-war clause in its constitution, to restart 50 closed nuclear power plants, and it is aggressively negotiating to ensure the continued presence and expansion of US military bases in Okinawa and other parts of Japan.
We believe that our government’s statements condemning Hashimoto’s remarks about sexual slavery are duplicitous and hypocritical. US policies are actually encouraging the politics of militarization and attacks on human rights by the Japanese government and politicians like Hashimoto.
We demand the resignation of Hashimoto as Mayor of Osaka, an end to the repression of anti-nuclear activists, and we stand in opposition to the removal or weakening of Article 9. We also call for the removal of all US bases in Okinawa and Japan. These bases continue to cause grievous harm to Japanese women in particular. Japan’s ecology and all of its people are continually threatened by the toxic load of the American military presence.
It is time for action by people of the US and Japan to end to the statements of Mayor Hashimoto, and the actions behind them.
No Nukes Action Committee http://nonukesaction.wordpress.com/
The San Francisco - Osaka Sister City Association Disassociates Itself From Statements of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto
On the Osaka Mayor Hashimoto's Recent Statement http://www.sf-osaka.org/modules/reports/
The San Francisco - Osaka Sister City Association would like to make clear that the recent statement by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto to justify the sex slavery system imposed by the Japanese military during World War II as a necessity of war in no way reflects the position of the Association, nor the spirit of the sister city relationship.
The San Francisco - Osaka sister city relationship was forged from the ashes of World War II as an historic effort to improve relations between the United States and Japan. Statements that justify controversial wartime abuses and devastating violence against women are damaging to international relations, and contrary to the mission of the Association. We urge proactive efforts by Mayor Hashimoto to address the negative impacts of his damaging statement.
Japan mayor Toru Hashimoto: Wartime prostitution was necessary http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6_LMk8jmd2s
Japan mayor: Wartime prostitution was necessary
Published on May 14, 2013
A leading Japanese politician has called the use of sex slaves by Japanese soldiers during world war two a "necessary system".
Toru Hashimoto, the Osaka mayor, made the reference to about 200,000 women, mostly Korean and Chinese, who were believed to have been coerced into becoming so-called comfort women.
His comments have provoked reactions from others in Japan, and the region.
Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports from Seoul.
Mayor Osaka Hashimoto Quotes http://christythomas.com/2013/05/15/japanese-sex-slaves-and-the-nature-of-truth/
“To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time,” Hashimoto said. “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.” http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/hashimotos-party-faces-extinction-some-media-say
But he was not done yet. That same evening he spoke of a recent visit he’d made to Okinawa, in the course of which, he said, he urged American troops stationed there to make more use of local sex services. “Otherwise,” he said he said, “brave Marines won’t be able to control their sexual energy.”
Women’s Blood Boiling!—400 People Gather to Protest against Hashimoto http://labornetjp.blogspot.com/2013/06/womens-blood-boiling400-people-gather.html
The hall in the upper house was filled with people, later flooding out to the hallway. People were standing in the back, and those who could not enter the hall listened to presentations in the hallway. The protest action against Hashimoto’s comment on May 22 had about 400 angry people, more than 90 percent of whom were women. “We cann’t ever forgive him,” “He should resign right now,” “Hashimoto and Abe are the same” etc etc… anger never stopped. Some 235 groups raised their voice against Hashimoto’s repeated comments such as “comfort women were necessary” and “the US military should make good use of sex industry to relieve Marine’s sexual energy.” There were media organizations covering this event from Hong Kong and South Korea besides domestic media. Labornet TV live-streamed the event from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
参 院議員会館講堂が埋まった！あふれた！ 会場は立ち見になり、入場できない人たちが会館の外にも並んだ。5月22日午後3時から開催された「女性の人権を尊重する政治を！橋下発言に抗議する緊急 院内集会」には、約400人が詰めかけた。9割以上が女性。「絶対許せない」「すぐにヤメロ」「橋下と安倍は一緒」、怒りの声は止まらない。戦時中は「慰 安婦制度が必要なのは誰だってわかる」「海兵隊の性的エネルギーを解消するためにもっと風俗業を活用するよう進言した」など、たびかさなる橋下の暴言に、 235団体が抗議の声をあげた。メディアも国内だけでなく、香港・韓国からも取材が入った。レイバーネットTVでは、午後2時半～午後5時まで、熱気にあ ふれた集会の模様を生中継した。
Go fight City Hall: People opposing Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's remarks about the wartime 'comfort women' hold up signs saying 'Don't forgive Hashimoto's discrimination toward women' during a Friday rally in front of Osaka City Hall. | KYODO http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/25/national/hashimoto-in-unprecedented-crisis/#.UaA_nY6hDzI
NATIONAL / POLITICS | ANALYSIS
Hashimoto in unprecedented crisis
'Comfort women' outrage in U.S. also warning to Abe?
BY ERIC JOHNSTON
• MAY 25, 2013
OSAKA – The list of those in and out of Japan, but especially in the United States, who scorn and deride Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto for his justification for the wartime “comfort women” is growing daily, presenting a unprecedented crisis for the once-popular politician.
Hashimoto’s remarks that the sexual slavery system had been necessary during the war and that U.S. service members in Okinawa should spend more time at paid sex establishments to prevent indecent assaults against local women are being decried by increasing numbers of Americans.
However, those in the U.S. who follow bilateral relations — as well as Hashimoto’s supporters — say he is only a convenient whipping boy and the real source of American wrath is actually Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet.
Since May 13, when Hashimoto uttered his remarks, the U.S. State and Defense departments, congressional representatives, the city of San Francisco, and a former U.S. ambassador to Japan have all issued statements of condemnation.
In the U.S. Congress, Democratic Rep. Mike Honda, who led a 2007 congressional resolution that criticized Japan, and, indirectly, then-Prime Minister Abe, over its stance on the comfort women and called for a formal apology, said Hashimoto’s comments were “repulsive.”
“His view is an affront to history, humanity, and most of all to the young women who were coerced into horrific psychological, physical, emotional and sexual violence, including gang rape, forced abortion, humiliation and mutilation,” Honda said last week.
But American concern over Japan’s politicians discussing the comfort women issue predates Hashimoto’s remarks.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer told an audience in Washington before Hashimoto made his remarks that he was concerned about suggestions from the Abe government that it wanted to revisit the 1993 Kono Statement. That declaration said the Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of brothels across Asia for its troops and the transfer of comfort women to work in them.
“There is no constituency in the U.S. for a position that says, ‘boys will be boys.’ To revisit the Kono Statement would, in my judgment, do great harm to Japan’s interests in the U.S. and throughout the rest of Asia,” Schieffer said in reference to remarks Abe made in recent months suggesting he didn’t quite agree with the 1993 direct apology to the sex slaves issued by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono.
Mindy Kotler, director of the Washington-based Asia Policy Point and one of those involved in the drafting of a 2007 congressional comfort women resolution, said the reaction in Washington was more one of embarrassment at Hashimoto’s comments than alarm.
“Yes, criticism of Hashimoto is a comfortable way to criticize Abe. But Japan-watchers in Washington take the same position as their Liberal Democratic Party friends,” she said, referring to Abe’s ruling party. “Hashimoto is an outsider, literally. He is not someone who can be taken seriously.
“However, they are all concerned that Abe is getting a bit more strident than they would like. They, along with the State and Defense departments, have been sending messages that Abe should tone it down and also not go to (war-linked) Yasukuni Shrine,” Kotler added.
As to Hashimoto’s comments regarding sex establishments and U.S. forces in Okinawa, what he did was to open a Pandora’s Box on a matter that had long been taboo among those in Tokyo and Washington who deal with the security alliance: that of prostitution and sexual violence in communities near U.S. military bases.
But combined with his comfort women comments, Hashimoto’s Okinawa remarks in many quarters were interpreted, legitimately or not, as advocating a modern-day comfort women system in the prefecture.
“What U.S. servicemen did and do on Okinawa is no surprise and there is no shock value in bringing it up. However, there is a difference between free enterprise prostitution and state-organized sex slavery,” Kotler said.
Japan Osaka Racist Sexist Reactionary Mayor to meet with former 'comfort women' and meeting in June with SF Mayor Ed Lee
"a U.S. official in Japan hinted Hashimoto could find himself an unwanted guest." http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/17/national/hashimoto-stays-in-the-hot-seat/#.UZXCTo6hDzI
Hashimoto stays in the hot seat
BY ERIC JOHNSTON
• MAY 17, 2013
OSAKA – International condemnation of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s comment that the wartime sex slavery system was necessary continued Thursday, with the United States calling the mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader’s remarks outrageous and offensive.
Meanwhile, the city of Osaka announced Hashimoto would meet with two Korean former “comfort women” next week in a bid to defuse the situation.
Next month, Hashimoto plans to travel to San Francisco, where he is scheduled to meet with Edwin Lee, the city’s first Asian-American mayor and the former director of its human rights commission. After that, Hashimoto plans to visit New York to meet with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
But a U.S. official in Japan hinted Hashimoto could find himself an unwanted guest.
“As the U.S. has previously stated, what happened in that era to these women who were trafficked for sexual purposes is deplorable, and a grave human rights violation of enormous proportions,” the official said. “We understand Hashimoto is planning to travel to the U.S. We are not sure that anybody will want to meet him.”
Hashimoto will have a public meeting with the two former sex slaves on May 24 at City Hall.
The event was hastily arranged under tremendous pressure by members of Hashimoto’s own party and others in City Hall out of fear the controversy is damaging Osaka’s domestic and international reputation.
At the national political level, the fallout is affecting Nippon Ishin’s relations with key ally Your Party, which has been scrambling to reassure voters that its views on history, at least, are different from Hashimoto’s.
Your Party was planning to cooperate with Nippon Ishin in the upcoming Upper House election.
On Wednesday evening, however, Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe told reporters his party might end its election cooperation agreement.
“If Hashimoto’s historical views are the same views as his party, we’ll review our relationship,” Watanabe said.
New Komeito, which cooperates with Hashimoto’s local group, Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka), in the municipal assembly, where they form the ruling coalition, is also furious.
New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi, in his email magazine Wednesday, called Nippon Ishin, with its coleaders Hashimoto and Shintaro Ishihara, who believe the sex slave system was necessary, a “reckless political party.”
“The good sense of the voters will flatly reject a party with these kinds of leaders,” he said.
As criticism continues, Hashimoto went on television Thursday to say it was inappropriate that he suggested the U.S. military in Okinawa should make more use of the legal sex industry as a way to curb servicemen’s sexual impulses.
“My way of expressing myself was poor. I talked about legal establishments, which didn’t mean I was promoting prostitution,” he said. “My understanding of America’s sex industry culture was insufficient. In America, if you say ‘sex industry,’ people immediately think of prostitution. . . . What I wanted to say was that I wanted to control sex crimes in Okinawa with a real argument,” he said, adding that he lacked “international awareness.”
But he stuck to his basic stance that the comfort women system had been necessary during the war and said international debate on the issue is important.
“If you get angry at the opposite reactions and don’t proclaim your views, then you can’t connect with people around the world,” Hashimoto said.
He told reporters Thursday evening he agrees with the Nippon Ishin Diet group that his comments regarding sex establishments in Okinawa were inappropriate. However, he also urged the U.S. to think about not just the human rights of the comfort women, but also the rights of people living near U.S. bases in the prefecture.
He also admitted his remarks would likely negatively affect his U.S. trip in June and some Americans may choose not to meet him. But he added that if U.S. human rights groups ask to meet him and discuss his comments, he would.
Osaka mayor sticks to noxious comments on comfort women http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/589315.html
Posted on : May.28,2013 06:14 KST
Japanese women cry as they listen to testimonies from two South Korean former comfort women at the Nara Human Rights Center in Japan, May 26. The two women are currently touring Japan, providing public testimony of their experiences. (by Lee Jeong-ah, staff photographer)
Prominent politician Toru Hashimoto did retract controversial comments on soldiers and brothels in Japan
By Jeong Nam-ku, Tokyo correspondent
Toru Hashimoto, Mayor of Osaka and co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, took back his suggestion that US military forces in Japan make use of houses of prostitution. However, he did not retract his rash remarks that the so-called comfort women, or women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese, were necessary during wartime.
According to Japanese media reports released on May 26, Hashimoto appeared on TV on May 25 where he apologized to the US and to the American people for his remarks and expressed his desire to retract them. Early in May, the Japanese politician had suggested to the commander of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa that US soldiers could patronize brothels to satisfy their sexual desires.
Hashimoto also apologized for the controversy that the remarks in question had caused and indicated his desire to retract them at a May 25 meeting of the leadership of the Japan Restoration Party in Tokyo.
Making reference to the frequent sexual assaults on female soldiers occurring inside the US military and the sexual crimes committed by US soldiers in Okinawa, Hashimoto explained that he had made the remarks in an effort to make the point that it was necessary to work hard to eliminate sexual crimes.
Hashimoto has yet to retract the offensive remarks made at a press conference on May 13 that comfort women were necessary for soldiers during the war. Remarking that he was resigned to being criticized for his controversial remarks about comfort women, Hashimoto reiterated the same position. “Japan is not the only country that should be criticized,” he said. “Instead, we need to turn our attention to the history of every country that has used women on the battlefield.”
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan has invited Hashimoto to hold a press conference on May 27, where he is planning to explain his remarks.
On May 26, the Tokyo Shimbun reported that the leadership of the Japan Restoration Party is worried that, if Hashimoto’s remarks are taken to mean that the party is moving further toward the right, it may well mean the end of the party.