OSAKA: A Japanese politician who drew fire for calling “comfort women” a wartime necessity has been forced to apologize for suggesting United States (US) soldiers in Okinawa visit brothels to vent their violent frustrations.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto had suggested that US servicemen in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, where relations are frequently tested by violent crimes including rapes and assaults, patronise legal sex businesses there.
As the remark triggered disgust in the US and outrage in Okinawa, Hashimoto said he would retract it at a press conference scheduled Monday at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo.
“The phrase ‘sex businesses’ was inappropriate,” he said in a Saturday program by YTV broadcaster. “I must apologize to the US military and American people and retract my comment” at the Monday press conference.