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Japanese female lawmakers slam Osaka mayor's comments on "comfort women"


20:09, May 16, 2013

TOKYO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Several Japanese female lawmakers on Thursday held a press conference in the Diet to slam Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto over his improper comments on "comfort women" and to ask him for offering an apology.

Mariko Kikuta, a member of the 11 female lawmakers, said that Hashimoto's controversial words have shocked the international community and damaged Japan's national interests.

Meanwhile, all the six female lawmakers of the 47-member Okinawa prefectural assembly also issued a statement in Naha denouncing Hashimoto's remarks, saying they will send the statement to Osaka city government and the Japan Restoration Party that co-headed by Hashimoto, according to local media.

Sueko Yamauchi, one of the six, said she questioned Hashimoto' s humanity and demanded him resign, said Japan's Kyodo News Agency.

The mayor reiterated Thursday in a TV program that the " comfort women" system was considered necessary before and during the World War II.

Hashimoto on Monday said that sexual slaves by women were " necessary" for Japanese soldiers during the World War II to maintain the army's discipline and his remarks drew immediately opposition from South Korea, China and other countries.

A spokesman from South Korean foreign ministry said Thursday that Hashimoto's statements are beyond common sense, insulting women's dignity, distorting the history and defending criminal acts, according to reports.

The controversial remarks also drew condemnation from Japan's ally the United States as two U.S. lawmakers issued a statement Wednesday, saying Hashimoto's remarks are "contemptible" and " repulsive," reported local media.

China on Tuesday also criticized Hashimoto's improper words. Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesman said China is shocked and indignant at the Japanese politician's remarks as they flagrantly challenge historic justice and the conscience of mankind.

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