A large majority of Japanese people disagree with a high-profile politician who said women forced to provide sex during World War II were a military necessity, polls issued Monday said.
Up to 200,000 "comfort women" from Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere were forcibly drafted into brothels catering to the Japanese military during WWII, according to mainstream historians.
Outspoken Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto said last week these women served a "necessary" role keeping soldiers in line, sparking outrage in China and South Korea and inviting US criticism.
In a weekend survey of 1,550 households conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, 71 percent of voters said Hashimoto's comments were "inappropriate" against 21 percent who said the comments were "appropriate."
In a separate weekend survey among 3,600 households by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, 75 percent of voters said the comments were "problematic", while 20 percent said they had little or no problem with them. (AFP)