Japan mayor apologises for US army slight

2013-05-27 12:00
Osaka mayor and co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, Toru Hashimoto. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

Osaka mayor and co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, Toru Hashimoto. (Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP)

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Tokyo - A Japanese mayor has apologised for saying two weeks ago that US troops should patronise legal adult entertainment businesses to help reduce rapes and other assaults.

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said on Monday that his earlier remarks rose from a "sense of crisis" about cases of sexual assaults by US military personnel on Japanese civilians in Okinawa, where a large number of US troops are based.

He said now he understands "my remark could be construed as an insult to the US forces and to the American people" and was inappropriate.

Hashimoto is also the co-head of an emerging nationalistic party. He created a previous uproar when he also said that Japan's wartime practice of forcing Asian women to work in front-line brothels was necessary to maintain discipline.

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