The mayor of Osaka, Japan defended the practice during World War II of forcing women into prostitution for Japanese enlisted men, reports the NY Times.
Some estimate as many as 200,000 women known as comfort women were rounded up from Korea and other Asian countries.
Mayor Toru Hashimoto also suggested that American soldiers in Okinawa should take more advantage of the adult entertainment industry to reduce rapes and sexual assaults on local women.
“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,”Hashimoto said.
His remarks were quickly condemned. The Women’s Action Network called the comments “shocking.”
You can read more about the mayor’s remarks in the NY Times.