Japanese mayor faces censure over sex slave claim

The mayor of the Japanese city of Osaka is facing a censure motion over inflammatory comments he made about Japan’s wartime sex slaves.

The city assembly will vote this afternoon on the motion, which says Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s comments created confusion and tarnished the image of the city.

The motion has no legal implication for Mr Hashimoto, who is also co-chair of an emerging nationalistic party.

The outspoken mayor sparked controversy after he said on May 13 that Japan’s use of so-called “comfort women” before and during the Second World War was necessary for military discipline and providing rest for troops.

He sought later to clarify his comments, saying he meant that military authorities of the day must have deemed the practice necessary.

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