Following his statements two Japanese women, now in their 80’s, canceled a meeting with Mayor Hashimoto. The two women, Kim Bok-dong and Kil Won-ok are former comfort women and said that the mayor’s comments are just the latest example of the Japanese government not taking responsibility for the evils it perpetrated on the region as well as its own people during the War. Mr. Hashimoto’s statements indicated that he didn't believe the brothels were as bad as is made out and even pointed out that Japan was not the only country to employ ‘comfort women’ and has been unjustly singled out.
In 1993 Japan issued a formal apology for its role in the World War II era brothels, but the government has recently debated taking back said apology. National and international pressure has recently made the government rethink that action.
Some historians estimate that as many as 200,000 women were rounded up to provide sex for the Japanese military serving in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines.