San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee may be the reason his counterpart in Osaka cancelled a planned visit to the United States, according to the Japan Times.
Lee sent a message to Osaka warning Mayor Toru Hashimoto that he would not be welcomed in San Francisco due to his remarks that it was necessary for Japan to kidnap women for the sexual gratification of the Japanese military during World War II.
In fact, Lee bluntly said he would not be treating it as an official visit and would not be hosting any receptions for Osaka mayor.
The behind the scenes maneuvering became public Monday after the city released a translation of a message sent to Hashimoto.
“Mayor Lee has been overwhelmed with protests from the Japanese-American community, as well as other ethnic and women’s groups. Hashimoto would be surrounded by protestors at every place he visits,” the San Francisco official reportedly said.
Hashimoto later said he would cancel his trip because he didn’t want to cause any difficulties.