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Mayor Lee spurns visit by Japanese mayor after ‘brothel’ remarks

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto won’t be making an official visit to San Francisco after Mayor Ed Lee advised him against it following Hashimoto’s controversial remarks last month supporting brothels staffed by so-called “comfort women” for Royal Japanese forces during World War II. Lee officially notified his Japanese counterpart, whose trip would have occurred this week, that his visit here would not be welcome and that the mayor would host no reception for him if he came, the the English-language Japan Times says.

An excerpt [brackets mine]:

Warning there would be demonstrations against Hashimoto, the [unnamed senior] official [in San Francisco who notified Hashimoto] was quoted by Osaka as saying reactions in San Francisco over Hashimoto’s comments had been strong and his visit would damage Osaka’s image.

“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 official reportedly said.

This would force a reluctant San Francisco to spend a lot of tax money on beefed-up security measures for Hashimoto during the course of his trip, the official added.

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