Japanese Politician: WWII Sex Slaves Were 'Necessary'
Says soldiers needed them to rest
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2013 6:18 PM CDT
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto speaks after taking up a post as acting leader of the Japan Restoration Party in Osaka.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

(Newser) – Controversial Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has defended Japan's World War II policy of forcing women to have sex with troops as a necessity of war, the BBC reports. "In the circumstances in which bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives," said Hashimoto, who is also the leader of the Japan Restoration Party. "If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary. Anyone can understand that."

Around 200,000 women in Japanese occupied territories—including China, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan— are believed to have been forced into acting as "comfort women" during the conflict. Hashimoto did at least acknowledge they had acted "against their will." He says people should "politely offer kind words to (former) comfort women," the Asahi Shimbun reports.