05.14.139:47 AM ET

Japanese Mayor: WWII Brothels ‘Necessary’

“We can’t control the sexual energy of these brave Marines.”

The mayor of Osaka, a potential future candidate for prime minister, said that it was “necessary” for women to be forced into brothels for Japanese soldiers during World War II. “When soldiers are risking their lives by running through storms of bullets, and you want to give these emotionally charged soldiers a rest somewhere, it’s clear that you need a comfort-women system,” Toru Hashimoto told reporters on Monday. His comments drew international outrage, particularly in South Korea, where the vast majority of the so-called comfort women came from. Further angering women’s-rights activists, Hashimoto also said that American soldiers based in Okinawa should take advantage of local sex workers. Speaking of a conversation with an unnamed American officer, Hashimoto recalled telling him, “We can’t control the sexual energy of these brave Marines. They must make more use of adult entertainers.”