橋下氏発言 女性の尊厳踏みにじる不見識

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 17, 2013
Hashimoto’s remarks affront to women, reveal ignorance
橋下氏発言 女性の尊厳踏みにじる不見識(5月16日付・読売社説)

It was a statement that made us doubt his common sense and dignity as a public figure.

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) coleader Toru Hashimoto recently told reporters that so-called comfort women were “necessary to maintain discipline in the military forces at that time” by deterring rapes by soldiers.

Furthermore, Hashimoto revealed that he advised a senior officer of the U.S. forces in Japan to let soldiers “actively utilize” sex-related services.

On Wednesday, Hashimoto offered the clarification that he “never said the system is necessary now.” And it may be true, as Hashimoto said, that similar systems to provide sexual services were used during the war by armies other than the defunct Imperial Japanese Army.

Nevertheless, it is inevitable that loudly arguing that comfort women were necessary for the military would be seen as making light of women’s dignity.

Strong opposition

It is natural that strong opposition was raised against Hashimoto’s remarks, including from Tomomi Inada, state minister in charge of administrative reform. “I believe the comfort women system violated the human rights of women,” Inada said.

Hashimoto made the statement to the press in connection with the stance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet concerning its recognition of history.

A 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono concerning the comfort women issue contains expressions indicating that Japanese administrative and military authorities forcibly recruited women as comfort women in an organized manner. His comments were not based on any official or historical materials.

Such expressions, which may invite misunderstandings, need a review based on facts.

Irresponsible attitude

Hashimoto advocates a review of the Kono statement. However, to accept the existence of comfort women during wartime as “necessary” may conversely spread misunderstanding on the issue internationally.

Hashimoto criticized the Japanese government over its handling of the comfort women issue, as the government maintains the problem was legally settled with the 1965 Treaty of Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea. He also said “due consideration must be given” to former comfort women.

However, it is irresponsible for Hashimoto to advance such an argument without suggesting concrete measures.

Meanwhile, the statement about actively utilizing sex-related businesses was advice given to a senior officer of the U.S. forces stationed in Japan when Hashimoto recently visited Okinawa Prefecture.

Hashimoto told the senior officer that handling soldiers’ sexual desires is an important subject for the military in any era and suggested actively utilizing legal sex-related services in Japan.

The senior officer replied that such activity was prohibited by U.S. forces and closed the subject, according to Hashimoto.

Hashimoto lacks understanding of the disciplinary rules of the U.S. military. Such a statement was probably taken as an insult to U.S. forces in Japan.

Women’s dignity is strongly respected in U.S. society. Among history-related issues in Japan, the U.S. public has turned an especially stern eye on the comfort women issue.

It is only natural that people in Okinawa Prefecture and elsewhere have criticized his remarks as reckless statements that treat women like implements.

We cannot help but question why Hashimoto had to make such a proposal and why he had to publicly announce it.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 16, 2013)
(2013年5月16日01時46分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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