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Canuckistan 15 May 2013 03:08 PM

Japanese politician calls wartime sex slaves 'necessary'
 
Japanese officials have distanced themselves from comments made by a prominent nationalist politician that suggested women forced to become prostitutes to entertain Japanese troops during World War II were "necessary."

Toru Hashimoto, who serves as the Mayor of Osaka, told reporters at his weekly press conference that "anyone would understand" the role of "comfort women" when soldiers were risking their lives and you wanted to give them "a rest."

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/world/...men/index.html

Horse Chestnut 15 May 2013 05:43 PM

I always find it sad, and a little frightening, whenever I see evidence that some people really do regard women as a lesser form of human. I mean, seriously, what do these men see when they look at their own wives or daughters?

mags 15 May 2013 06:49 PM

Property..

TB Tabby 15 May 2013 07:01 PM

In a way, it's comforting to know that America doesn't have the monopoly on oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-he-just-said-that right-wingers.

Wintermute 15 May 2013 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut (Post 1736873)
I always find it sad, and a little frightening, whenever I see evidence that some people really do regard women as a lesser form of human. I mean, seriously, what do these men see when they look at their own wives or daughters?

My understanding is it had little to do with them being women. It has to do with them being non-Japanese women.

<O:pDuring WW2 the Japanese had the concept of them being the superior race. So a lot of what was done to other people during the war was seen as being done to lesser races.

<O:pIf you think it was just women look at what they did to the Chinese and Korean people as a whole. Look at how Allied prisoners were treated.<O:p</O:p

Rebochan 15 May 2013 07:46 PM

I eexpect his words are going to light up the parts of Asia that already hold some long-term war grudges and already don't feel the Japanese government is terribly sorry about it.

Oh, and for that matter, that's not ALL he said that was offensive and he's getting called out for it.

Quote:

"I told him there are places that operate within the boundaries of the law which can be used for releasing sexual frustration, so they [the U.S. military] should fully utilize it or the marines won't be able to control their aggressive sexual desires."
"Look, you need to make sure your troops are getting enough action so they don't go out and rape people."

snopes 15 May 2013 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wintermute (Post 1736919)
During WW2 the Japanese had the concept of them being the superior race. So a lot of what was done to other people during the war was seen as being done to lesser races.

But Koreans and Chinese weren't members of a different "race" from the Japanese; just different nationalities.

E. Q. Taft 15 May 2013 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Canuckistan (Post 1736822)
Toru Hashimoto, who serves as the Mayor of Osaka, told reporters at his weekly press conference that "anyone would understand" the role of "comfort women" when soldiers were risking their lives and you wanted to give them "a rest."

So, in the next war, they can solve the problem with RealDolls. (Hey, it should be a small step from treating women as objects, to treating objects as women....)

E. Q. Taft 15 May 2013 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1736938)
But Koreans and Chinese weren't members of a different "race" from the Japanese; just different nationalities.

Slavic people and Jews aren't really a different race from Germans, either....but I don't think Hitler would agree.

Mad Jay 15 May 2013 08:17 PM

Why is the mayor of Osaka talking about war history with the reports anyways? Shouldn't he be worried about potholes or something?

Or do mayors have a totally differrent responsibilities in Japan?

snopes 15 May 2013 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft (Post 1736942)
Slavic people and Jews aren't really a different race from Germans, either ... but I don't think Hitler would agree.

In a broad sense, perhaps, but the concept of "race" is a nebulous one, and those groups weren't part of the specific racial subset (i.e., Aryan) that the Nazis viewed as superior.

The larger point is that even Nazi ideology didn't exclude members of the "master race" on the basis of nationality: one could be non-German (e.g., Swedish or Polish or Czech or French) yet still be considered Aryan by the Nazis.

Dr. Dave 15 May 2013 08:35 PM

But if one group of people consider themselves (or individuals consider themselves and others of their group) somehow higher, better, or otherwise superior to people in another group, it does not really matter if the distinction aligns with the construction of race. It does not really matter if there is no distinction at all for that matter.

E. Q. Taft 15 May 2013 11:13 PM

As snopes says, the concept of 'race' is nebulous at best. I think it pretty much means whatever the person using it wants it to mean, since there's no real scientific definition. Japan has such a homogeneous population that I can imagine people (both Japanese and otherwise) conflating the idea of the race and the nation being the same thing. An extreme Japanese nationalist might well have a strict definition of who is or is not Japanese from an ethnic point of view. (The historical attitude and policies of the Japanese towards ethnic Koreans in particular suggests this.)

It's a side issue, anyway. The remarks are pretty outrageous irrespective of who made them or who the victims were.

Wolf333 15 May 2013 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mad Jay (Post 1736946)
Why is the mayor of Osaka talking about war history with the reports anyways? Shouldn't he be worried about potholes or something?

Or do mayors have a totally differrent responsibilities in Japan?

The population of Osaka is close to 19M. That's just behind Florida, and higher than Illinois. This doesn't excuse his words, but he's most likely worried about more than potholes.

He is still an asshat.

ETA: Maybe this guy, and the dude from Corwall could start their own political party.

ganzfeld 16 May 2013 12:18 AM

Don't know where you're getting your figures, Wolf. Maybe the population of Osaka prefecture and all surrounding areas? The city population is just under 3 million. (Even the prefecture,which is, of course, not under the mayor's office, has just under 9 million.)

I don't know what to say about the shameful OP story. I don't even know where to begin. Depressing in so many ways. :(

Blatherskite 16 May 2013 12:52 AM

While what he said shows an appalling lack of brain-to-mouth control no matter the intent, I can't help noticing that the quotes attributed him seem to refer specifically to 'comfort women' (which seems to be a euphamism for prostitutes of any sort) and not to sex slaves. While comfort women frequently were sex slaves, is it possible he is simply ignorant of that fact and his statements referred to free Japanese prostitutes only?

In his mind perhaps he was only defending soldiers from the 'vice' of paying for sex, and the association with sex slaves didn't occur to him.

That doesn't save him from his ignorant blunder in the light of campaigns to raise awareness for the suffering of those women, but it does seem probable. Or perhaps I'm just so optimistic about humanity in general that I try to find well-meaning but thoughtless blunders where there is only scumbaggery.

ganzfeld 16 May 2013 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blatherskite (Post 1737017)
he is simply ignorant

Fixed&nbsp;

moonfall 16 May 2013 01:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 1736938)
But Koreans and Chinese weren't members of a different "race" from the Japanese; just different nationalities.

Race is a pretty subjective term. Historically, many people in Japan have considered themselves a separate race from everyone else. At one point, didn't the British consider themselves a separate race from the Irish? I've noticed when asked about their race, many people will give their nationality instead. They will tell you their race is "Mexican," "Haitian," etc.

ganzfeld 16 May 2013 02:25 AM

The word for race in Japanese simply means "type of person". It could mean practically anything. The idea of races was a rather foreign concept. Of course, xenophobia by any name smells equally abhorrent. Unfortunately, the Japanese were emulating the west at a time when the west was, frankly, more racist than much of the world would ever be.

Horse Chestnut 17 May 2013 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1737040)
The word for race in Japanese simply means "type of person". It could mean practically anything. The idea of races was a rather foreign concept. Of course, xenophobia by any name smells equally abhorrent. Unfortunately, the Japanese were emulating the west at a time when the west was, frankly, more racist than much of the world would ever be.

Not to defend any of this racial asshattery, but didn't the Japanese harbor some resentment towards China for real or perceived bigotry from the Chinese towards the Japanese? It seems that from what I've read in the past that a lot of racial mudslinging was going on in East Asia, with the Korean pennisula being considered the low man on the totem pole.


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