TOKYO, May 27 (UPI) -- The mayor of Osaka, Japan, apologized Monday for suggesting U. S. troops in Okinawa should make use of Japan's legalized sex industry.
Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who co-leads the Japan Restoration Party in the national Parliament, revealed earlier this month he told the commander of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma that U.S. military personnel should make use of "the legally accepted adult entertainment industry" to contain their "sexual urges, the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported Monday.
Speaking at Tokyo's Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hashimoto noted in his apology he never suggested American troops patronize prostitutes, which is illegal in Japan, but said, "I understand my remark could be construed as an insult to the U.S. forces and to the American people, and therefore was inappropriate. I retract my inappropriate remarks ... and sincerely apologize."
Hashimoto added his intent was to prevent a handful of U.S. troops from committing crimes.
A series of crimes, including sex crimes, have recently been committed by U.S. troops, triggering restrictions on military liberty and encouraging anti-military sentiment in Japan, Stars and Stripes said.