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Osaka mayor under fire from international community

Posted May. 25, 2013 08:51,   


Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka and co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, has come under mounting criticism from the international community for his absurd remarks about Japan’s World War II military sex slavery. His scheduled meeting with South Korean wartime sex slaves called “comfort women” has been canceled.

According to foreign news agencies including Japan’s Kyodo News Agency on Friday, 68 nongovernmental organizations worldwide, including the Amnesty International, issued a joint statement Thursday denouncing Hashimoto’s remarks justifying wartime sex slavery. The statement said that the Japanese government “continued to reject calls for justice for the survivors of Japan’s military sexual slavery system.” It also urged the Japanese government to officially criticize Hashimoto’s remarks and acknowledge that the sex slavery was a major human rights violation. NGOs from 20 countries in Asia, Americas, Europe and the Middle East have signed the joint statement.

The Russian government joined the criticism. In a spokesman’s commentary Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry expressed concern over the escalating nationalistic rhetoric in Japan’s political circle over past history issues. The Russian Foreign Ministry also stated that some Japanese politicians made several attempts to whitewash or justify their country’s sex slavery issues.