Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto
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Osaka mayor Hashimoto enflames 'comfort women' row

The mayor of Osaka has courted controversy for a second time by claiming that there is "no evidence" that the Japanese government forced tens of thousands of women into sexual enslavement during World War II.

Toru Hashimoto first drew international criticism when he said that the so-called "comfort women" were "necessary" for Japan's wartime troops. He has since described the practice as a violation of the women's human rights.

Mr Hashimoto has also accused the armies of the United States, Britain, France and Germany of similar actions during the conflict.

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports from Tokyo.

  • 28 May 2013
  • From the section Asia