Osaka Gov. Matsui says no mention of "comfort women" in U.S. meeting

The issue of the so-called comfort women was not mentioned during a meeting Tuesday morning between Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui and California Gov. Jerry Brown, Matsui told reporters after the meeting.

Matsui said both sides did not mention Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's recent controversial remarks seen as justifying Japan's wartime system of hiring women for sexual services mostly from other Asian countries, euphemistically referred to as comfort women.

Matsui, who also serves as secretary general of the opposition Japan Restoration Party, met Brown for about 40 minutes at the California state government office in Sacramento.

"There was no mention (of the issue) at all by Gov. Brown, and I was warmly received. It was a positive meeting to build closer relations," Matsui said.

"(In Japan), there is an overreaction," Matsui told reporters in San Francisco over Hashimoto's remarks, apparently indicating the difference of reactions in and outside Japan.

Matsui also said, "The United States upholds values respecting freedom, democracy and human rights, and we can be allies. Controversy over one issue will not ruin everything," he said.

The city of San Francisco sent a letter to Hashimoto seeking to stop his planned visit amid the furor caused by his remarks. Hashimoto, who canceled his U.S. trip, said it "cannot be helped due to the difference of opinions."

Asked Wednesday by reporters in Osaka whether the letter was a decisive factor in cancelling his trip, Hashimoto declined to give a clear answer but said that he "made the decision by considering all factors."