2014년 6월 30일, 빌 파스크렐 연방 하원의원은 양당 17명의 하원의원들과 함께 위안부 문제 해결을 촉구하는 서한을 사사에 겐이치로 주미 일본대사에게 보내고, 일본 정부가 지난 20일 발표한 '고노 담화'에 대한 리포트를 규탄하는 성명을 발표했다.
U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr.
For Immediate Release
June 30, 2014
Congressman Pascrell Calls for Resolution Comfort Women Issue
PATERSON – U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), along with 17 of his fellow representatives from both parties, sent a letter to Kenichiro Sasae, the Ambassador of Japan to the United States, calling the timing and contents of the Japanese government report on the Kono Statement about the sexual enslavement of over 200,000 women by the Japanese Army during World War II, the so-called Comfort Women, “regrettable and unfortunate.” Rep. Pascrell represents the Borough of Palisades Park, which is home to the first monument dedicated to the Comfort Women in the United States.
"The content and timing of the June 20, 2014 Report on the Kono Statement is unfortunate and further delays the healing of decades-old wounds suffered by the Comfort Women,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Rather than take a step back on this human rights and women's right issue, I urge our friends in the Japanese government to continue to take full responsibility for these heinous acts perpetrated by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan and work on strengthening relationships with South Korea and the region. Let us be mindful of the dignity of the Comfort Women as we continue to work on making atrocities like this a thing of the past."
The Kono Statement, issued by the Japanese government in 1993, acknowledged the Japanese Army’s sexual enslavement of women, but did not offer a formal apology. This new report investigated the circumstances of the crafting of that statement.
Rep. Pascrell proudly cosponsored the comfort women resolution, H. Res. 121, which called for the Japanese government to acknowledge and apologize for their Imperial military’s coercion of young women into sexual slavery during the 1930s and 1940s. This resolution was passed by voice vote on July 30, 2007.
Rep. Pascrell was also one of only a few members of Congress that spoke at a reception in Washington hosted by Rep. Honda and Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) commemorating the fifth anniversary of the comfort women resolution.