Two Korean former sex slaves demanded the resignation of an outspoken Japanese mayor and canceled a meeting with him Friday for justifying Japan’s wartime practice of forcing tens of thousands of Asian women into prostitution for its military.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, also co-leader of a nationalist party, enraged Japanese neighbors last week by saying the use of so-called comfort women, mainly from South Korea, China and the Philippines, in frontline brothels before and during World War II was considered necessary then to maintain military discipline and give soldiers relief.
Hashimoto told reporters later Friday that the cancellation was “very unfortunate” but that he respects their feelings. He said he had hoped to show his sympathy over their wartime sufferings as sex slaves, and would have apologized for hurting their feelings because of his remarks that he said were misrepresented by the media.
Supporters of the two women in their 80s, Kim Bok-dong and Kil Won-ok, said there would be nothing to talk about because Hashimoto has showed no remorse over his remarks. They suspected he may have wanted to use the meeting — to be broadcast live on TV — to appear friendly with them and calm public criticism, the supporters told journalists.
Source: WSOC TV