I really can’t believe how much international attention Hashimoto’s little comments have generated. So I just wanted to point out two things that seem to be being largely overlooked.
First, look at that BBC article:
“A prominent Japanese politician….Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto…”
Hmm, something there doesn’t line up quite right. Yup, Hashimoto is not only not a member of the ruling party, but isn’t even in the Diet (Japan’s parliament) at all; he’s the mayor of the third largest city in Japan. Would something the mayor of Chicago said really be gaining as much international attention? I really can’t believe even the US State Department felt the need to comment on anything this guy had to say.
Second, let’s cool our heads for a second and consider what his position actually is. He said that the practice of comfort women, as evidenced by the fact that it was/is not unique to Japan, is a necessary consequence of war. His position is basically that wherever there are soldiers fighting a war, there are going to be soldiers having sex. But he doesn’t even stop there. He goes on to say that because of this, we shouldn’t have wars. Further, since Japan was responsible for starting wars, Japan is certainly at fault.
His controversial opinion is that Japan shouldn’t be beating itself up (or allow itself to be beaten up internationally) over its use of comfort women when that is really just an inevitable consequence of the larger issue of Japan starting wars, rather than some extra special evil thing that Japan did.
This is really the position of a pacifist. Hashimoto is saying that he doesn’t believe war can be carried out without lots of innocent people getting hurt, and so we shouldn’t have wars. Why is that so controversial?
Of course the most ridiculous comments come from the US. From the BBC:
“Mayor Hashimoto’s comments were outrageous and offensive,” said state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“What happened in that era to these women who were trafficked for sexual purposes is deplorable and clearly a grave human rights violation of enormous proportions,” she said.
Oh that is rich. You know what the US doesn’t consider to be a “grave human rights violation of enormous proportions?” The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed more people than Japan is estimated to have ever used in its comfort women program. Nope, that’s not a hypocritical position to have at all….