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Osaka mayor challenged on 'comfort women' remarks

Updated: 2013-07-30 19:07
( Xinhua)

OSAKA - Three Chinese women in their 80s abducted by the Japanese military during World War II to serve as so-called "comfort women" joined with local supporters to request on Tuesday disciplinary action against Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.

86-year-old Li Xiumei and two other women, all of whom are living in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, plus 174 Japanese citizens, submitted the request to the Osaka Bar Association, to which Hashimoto, also a lawyer, belongs. In their request the three women said that Hashimoto's recent remarks on comfort women seriously infringed on their human rights and had caused them mental anguish.

The three women released their statement through their Chinese and Japanese attorneys, which said during a press conference in central Osaka in the afternoon that although the mayor was born in the peaceful time after the war, he had hurt them with his insensitive message defending acts of aggression by the Japanese military, which invaded their country during the war.

"We ask the association to take strict action against its member Hashimoto, who has neglected, as a lawyer, our human dignity," the women said in the statement they sent to their attorneys last month.

Lawyer Masanori Kabashima, who represents the group, also told reporters that the action is quite natural because the Tokyo High Court has recognized that the three Chinese women are still suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after sexual violence repeatedly carried out by Japanese troops.

After Hashimoto's historical views were widely reported, he stressed that it was not his intention to say women who were used for sexual purposes during wartime were "necessary," noting that his words were deliberately mistranslated by local journalists.