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Okinawa women demand apology from Hashimoto over sex remark

Published on May 15, 2013 3:50 PM

TOKYO(AFP) - Women on Japan's island chain of Okinawa on Wednesday demanded an apology from an outspoken Japanese politician who suggested US troops there make use of its thriving sex industry.

The comments from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto earlier this week came as he also said "comfort women" - who most historians agree were pressed into sexual slavery for the Japanese imperial army during World War II - served a "necessary" role in keeping soldiers in line.

Twenty-five women's groups in Okinawa issued a statement claiming to be a voice "from Okinawa, which still sits in the midst of unhealed scars from war and daily violence imposed by the military.

"We strongly protest against the Hashimoto comment and demand an apology and retraction of the remark," the statement said.

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