(UPDATE) It is on. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan announcement:
P/L Toru Hashimoto Mayor of Osaka and Co-leader of The Japan Restoration Party
PROFESSIONAL LUNCHEON Toru Hashimoto Mayor of Osaka and Co-leader of The Japan Restoration Party
Mayor of Osaka and Co-leader of The Japan Restoration Party
12:00-14:00 Monday, May 27, 2013
(The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation)
* Initial reservations are limited to two tickets and may be subject to further change.
Since 2008, when he became Osaka governor, Toru Hashimoto has been described, variously, as the long-awaited savior of Japanese politics, as a smart, practical, reformer representing a new generation, a populist fighting the hated Tokyo bureaucrats, a fascist dictator, and as "Japan's answer to the American Tea Party movement."
In November 2011, Hashimoto and his local party, Osaka Ishin no Kai, took control of the Osaka mayor's office, the governor's office and the Osaka prefectural government assembly. Hashimoto then went national, tying up with former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara for last year's Lower House election. Their Japan Restoration Party won 54 seats, making it the third largest party in that chamber.
In recent months, however, the party and Hashimoto have been largely eclipsed by Prime Minister Abe’s economic program dubbed “Abenomics.” All of that changed last week, however, when Hashimoto began speaking out on “comfort women,” war-time prostitution and related issues, bringing a virtual wave of international criticism.
In response, Hashimoto made a declaration: He would come to the FCCJ to explain his views to a global audience. His appearance will almost certainly be one of the top news events of the year.
The outspoken Hashimoto loves a good debate, and is one of the few Japanese political leaders whose press conferences are open to all. He is reportedly something of an expert on French wines and old whiskies, and he's an avid user of social media, with a Twitter account that has over 1 million followers worldwide.
Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/non-members is 1,700/2,600 yen, non-members eligible to attend may pay in cash (menu: hamburger steak mushroom sauce). Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.
Professional Activities Committee
I don't know whether the comments like "almost certainly be one of the top news events of the year" are sarcastic or not.
Mark your calendar. It will be on May 27, 2013.
Boy-wonder doubles and triples down on his remarks that "comfort women" were necessary, that everybody did it, and that his remarks were misunderstood by foreigners because he can't speak English because of Liberal Democratic Party.
According to the world of Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka City and co-president of Japan Restoration Party, these women were "pros", and not "sex slaves". Tell that to the Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Dutch, Philippino, and other women in Japan-occupied Asia from that time.
Kyodo News has a tepid coverage of Hashimoto's plan, and reduces everything to "difference of opinion".
From Kyodo News (5/19/2013):
Mr. Hashimoto will explain the issue of comfort women at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, denies they were sex slaves
Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka City and co-president of Japan Restoration Party, appeared in a TV program on May 19, and talked about the comfort women of the Japanese imperial army. He said, "It is said that the whole nation raped, threatened and abducted these women and forced them against their will to become (comfort women) and thus "sex slaves". But that's not true." He said he will explain his opinion at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on May 27.
A Korean former comfort woman, who is already in Japan to meet with Mr. Hashimoto on May 24, criticizes Mr. Hashimoto's remarks, saying "I experienced exactly that. How can he say there is no evidence?" It seems to highlight the difference of opinion.
There are an amazing number of Japanese who staunchly support Boy-wonder. They all cling on to the semantics, and seem to think these women were willing prostitutes selling themselves for money. Here's one example of the tweets I get:
Hashimoto is doing the politics of words. He's challenging the existing framework of the US being always right.
What does that have to do with forced slavery under the Japanese imperial army?
Boy-wonder's latest excuse is that he didn't know enough about "US adult entertainment (sex) industry" when he talked to the Marine base commander in Okinawa and suggested to him that Marines make good use of Japanese sex industry.
This is a "Young Global Leader" elected by the world elite who meet at Davos every year.
What a wonderful world.