What should be the hottest ticket in the TMD, if it is not already? Osaka City mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai co-leader Hashimoto Toru's appearance at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on Monday. (Link)
Hashimoto intends to confront or put up a huge show of confronting foreign prejudice. He will try to deflect outward his comments earlier this month excusing the Japanese Imperial Army's sanctioned brothel system (the ianfu seido, a.k.a., the "comfort women system") and decrying the lack of U.S. military personnel patronage at Okinawa's sexual services establishments. He will try to paint everyone as black, then ask why Japanese citizens -- and by extension Hashimoto Toru -- have been singled out for criticism.
It is likely that Hashimoto will see a measure of success in his quixotic quest. He is a lawyer, which means his capacity for spewing reasonable-sounding nonsense is near infinite. He also a veteran of the pressure cooker world of "wide-show" infotainment programs, as well as of years standing before the microphones in hot pursuit of public office. He has honed a supercilious, in-your-face, bullying style that crushes most questioners, even the experienced journalists.
If I were present at Monday's session, and was given the grace of a moment at the microphone, what would I ask him?
I guess I would question the assumption that war makes men beasts in heat:
"Hashimoto-sensei, let me read to you what you said on the 13th of this month:Too long. Too complex. I know.
'Amidst a storm of flying of bullets, when you are trying arrange rest and relaxation for groups whose members are all wound up psychologically, the sanctioned brothel system is a necessity. Anyone can understand this.'Are you not making the situation sound a lot more out-of-control and sexier than reality? Were not the patrons of comfort stations mostly assigned to boring garrison duty? Was not the 'Recreation and Amusement Association' created after Japan's surrender in order to procure women not for troops psychologically wound up by a storm of bullets but instead Occupation forces doing desk work and guard duty in a pacified and flying-bullet-free Japan? How did you come to accept occupying forces taking advantage of country's military and economic domination by using its women as sex toys to be instead a kind of sexual psychotherapy treating potential sociopaths? And what is the basis for your belief, seeing as how you have no personal experience of military life?"
Still I would love to hear his response.
Original image courtesy: Sankei Shimbun