The suggestion did not sit well with a U.S. Marine commander in Okinawa, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.
During a press conference Monday, Mayor Toru Hashimoto said he made the suggestion during a visit last month with the commander of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa.
"There are places where people can legally release their sexual energy in Japan," Hashimoto said during the press conference. "Unless they make use of these facilities, it will be difficult to control the sexual energies of the wild Marines."
Hashimoto said the commander told him service members are prohibited from visiting brothels.
A service member violating the ban can be court-martialed.
The mayor detailed his conversation while discussing Japan's use of "comfort women" during World War II in which Japanese, Korean and Chinese women were forced to submit to Japanese soldiers. Hashimoto said the system was necessary to maintain discipline within the troops.
Paying for sexual intercourse is technically illegal in Japan, but many other types of sexual services are legal.