NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
RENGO Criticizes Remarks on “Comfort Women” and “Use of Adult Entertainment Industry” Made by Hashimoto, Co-leader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party)
16 May 2013
Mr. Toru Hashimoto, co-leader of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and Mayor of Osaka, stated in the press conference on May 13, referring to the comfort women of the wartime Japanese military, that everybody would understand that the comfort women system had been considered necessary. He also told that he had suggested to a U.S. military commander in Okinawa that “U.S. servicemen should make more active use of the adult entertainment industry”.
Moreover, Mr. Hashimoto put forward his own opinions that “amid bullets zinging in the wartime if rest was to be given to the emotionally-charged group, comfort women were necessary”. Then he remarked that “in order to control the sexual energy of the marines, U.S. soldiers stationed in Okinawa should take advantage of the local adult entertainment industry” and that “if not, human society does not function well”.
These remarks are absolutely outrageous, not only violating the human rights for all women and men but also destroying trust in Japan from the international society. No matter what age we are living in, women should not be regarded merely as sexual existence and any sexual violence against women is impermissible. As for men, his idea that men are sexually uncontrollable is also unacceptable. Any remarks made by those who hold any public positions like a leader of an open party are extremely grave and their discernment and dignity are always tested. The remarks by Mr. Hashimoto who does not have any sense of human rights are totally despicable.
The United Nations, in its 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic and of the Prostitution of Others, excludes prostitution and paying for sex services as “against human dignity and human value”. Women’s dignity and equality between men and women are clearly assured as human rights in both the UN Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women and the Constitution of Japan.
RENGO – Japanese Trade Union Confederation – never allows violation against human dignity and equality between men and women, and is determined to make all efforts to build a society without sexual violence and sexual exploitation.