마이클 혼다 의원은 실리콘밸리 인근지역인 캘리포니아 제 17 선거구를 대표합니다. 혼다 의원은 Korea Caucus소속이며, 지난 2007년 속칭 “위안부 결의안” 제 121 결의안을 발의 및 주도하였습니다.

2차대전 강제동원 성노예 피해자 문제 뿐만아니라, 사회 정의와 인권 보호관련 이슈에는 앞장 서온 혼다 의원은, 2001년 연방 하원의원으로 첫 취임한 뒤 현재 8선의원으로 재임 중입니다. 캘리포니아 제 17선거구는 Cupertino등의 테크놀로지 지역을 다수 포함하며, 2010년 인구조사 기준 한인 인구가 약 16,562로 추산됩니다.

Representative Mike Honda represents the California’s 17th Congressional District that encompasses the Silicon Valley. Representative Honda is a member of the Korea Caucus. In 2007, he introduced and spearheaded the passage of H.Res. 121, also known as the “Comfort Women” Resolution.

Representative Honda has dedicated his career in pursuing social justice and championing human rights, in addition to the issue of the sexual slavery victims of the Imperial Japanese forces before and during World War II. He was first elected to the US Congress in 2001 and is currently serving his 8th term. The 17th Congressional District of California includes various tech hubs like Cupertino, and is estimated to have 16,562 Korean Americans, according to the 2010 Census.

2015년 4월 21일, 아베 총리 연설관련 혼다 의원의 하원 특별 연설 전문
Representative Honda’s remark, as part of the Special Order on April 21, 2015:

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the ongoing horror and nightmare that is violence against women. Whether in times of conflict or disaster, too often we see the worst battles fought on women and girls’ bodies. Tonight, Mr. Speaker, I am honored to recognize one woman who has survived unspeakable violence. She is a survivor. At 87 years old, she traveled all the way from South Korea. Her name is Lee Yong-Soo, known to everyone as Grandmother Lee. She has become the voice of justice, peace, and reconciliation. In 1944, 16-year-old Yong-Soo Lee of Tasegu, Korea, was lured by a friend of hers to meet with an older Japanese man. The man took the two of them and three other teenaged girls by train, then ship to Taiwan. There, the girls were forced into sexual slavery, serving four to five Japanese soldiers every day for a year. Ms. Lee suffered beatings and torture, was infected with venereal disease, was fed paltry amounts, faced temperatures so cold that ice formed on her body, and was never allowed outside. Only the end of World War II brought her relief. Ms. Lee is just one example of the over 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and East Timor who were kidnapped and sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. These so-called comfort women suffered serious physical, emotional, and psychological damages as a result of their ordeal. Of her 200,000 sisters, Grandmother Lee is but one out of a handful of survivors across Asia Pacific still alive. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right when she reportedly called these victims, rather than ‘‘comfort women,’’ ‘‘sex slaves.’’ When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a joint meeting of Congress next week on April 29, he has the opportunity to do right by these women. He can make a full, unequivocal, and formal apology on behalf of the Japanese Government. The Prime Minister’s visit is indeed a historic one. He will be the first Japanese Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress. He will address this institution on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 50th anniversary of the normalization between Korea and Japan. Prime Minister Abe will address this hallowed Chamber, where President Roosevelt delivered an address to our body as America entered war. There is much to be expected and anticipated in next week’s address. According to yesterday’s editorial by The New York Times, the success of Prime Minister Abe’s visit ‘‘depends on whether and how honestly Mr. Abe confronts Japan’s wartime history, including its decision to wage war, its brutal occupation of China and Korea, its atrocities and its enslavement of thousands of women forced to work as sex slaves or ‘comfort women’ in wartime brothels.’’ Mr. Speaker, in 2007, the House of Representatives sent a profound message to the Government of Japan by passing H. Res. 121, which I authored. The resolution stated: ‘‘That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Japan: ‘‘(1) should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as comfort women, during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II; ‘‘( 2) would help to resolve recurring questions about the sincerity and status of prior statements if the Prime Minister of Japan were to make such an apology as a public statement in his official capacity; ‘‘(3) should clearly and publicly refute any claims that the sexual enslavement and trafficking of the comfort women for the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces never occurred; and ‘‘(4) should educate current and future generations about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the comfort women.’’ And yet the Japanese Government has continued to fail to address this resolution. To be fair, the Government of Japan has made important and appreciated efforts to face its history. In 1993, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono issued a statement saying the Japanese military was involved in establishing the comfort stations. He said the womengirls, really from Korea and elsewhere, had been recruited against their own will. This was based upon many documents. In 1995, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama admitted Japan’s ‘‘colonial rule and aggression caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. ‘‘In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology.’’ Yet in 2006, during Abe’s first term as Prime Minister, he unleashed an international firestorm of criticism when he undermined the 1993 Kono Statement, incorrectly alleging that no documentary evidence existed of Japan’s complicity in setting up and running the comfort women stations. There was, in fact, plenty of evidence, including the extensive personal testimonies of the survivors, who spoke of being raped 10, 20, up to 50 times per day. In addition, many international bodies have issued recommendations and conclusions on Japan’s history and actions. In 2003, the U.N. committee that evaluates Japan’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment expressed concern regarding inadequate remedies for the victims of sexual slavery and violence, particularly survivors of Japan’s military sexual slavery practice during World War II. This committee also recommended that Japan ‘‘provide education to address the discriminatory roots of sexual and gender-based violence violations, and provide rehabilitation measures to the victims.’’ In 2008, the committee that accesses Japan’s implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concluded that Japan should ‘‘accept legal responsibility and apologize unreservedly for the ‘comfort women’ system . . . and take immediate and effective legislative and administrative measures to adequately compensate all survivors . . . educate students and the general public about the issue, and to refute and sanction any attempts to defame the victims or deny the events.’’ Talking about educating students, the books, the textbooks in Japan, still do not address the history of the military action in Asia during World War II. Following the passage of H. Res. 121, many countries followed suit and passed their own resolutions: Taiwan, Canada, Netherlands, the European Union, and South Korea. Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more important right now than for a democratic country like Japan to apologize for its past mistakes. A government is a living, breathing organism that is responsible for its past, present, and its future. Yet, as The New York Times editorial said, ‘‘history should have been settled. That it is not settled is largely the fault of Mr. Abe and his right-wing political allies who keep questioning history and even trying to rewrite it.’’ Last year, I, along with 17 of my House colleagues, wrote to the Ambassador of Japan to the U.S., calling the timing and context of the Japanese Government report on the Kono Statement regrettable, unfortunate, unacceptable, and destabilizing. Also, last year, the Abe administration tried and then failed to get the United Nations to partially retract the authoritative 1996 report, which called on Japan to apologize to the victims and pay reparations to the survivors who had been forced into sex slavery during the war. Most notably, this year, the Japanese Government tried unsuccessfully to change passages in a history textbook about the comfort women during World War II. I believe the budget of Japan Prime Minister Abe was able to secure almost half a billion dollars to effect that kind of change wherever they deemed necessary. Now, some say that Japan has apologized enough and it is time to move on. To those people I would say, given these continued revisionist attempts, for every step forward toward peace and reconciliation, the Government of Japan takes two steps backwards. Enough is enough. Seventy years later, it is time for Prime Minister Abe to be clear and unequivocal and issue an irrefutable apology, something that carries the weight of his government. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Prime Minister Abe to face Japan’s history. Germany knows something about this. After World War II, it engaged in a painful national coming to terms with the past that ripped open old wounds so that they could properly heal. In 1970, on a cold and wet day in Warsaw, then-German Chancellor Willy Brandt laid down a wreath at the memorial of the Jewish ghetto. Then he fell to his knees in front of the memorial. As a reporter who witnessed this event wrote later: ‘‘If this man, who wasn’t responsible for the crime, who wasn’t there in those years, now decides to walk through the former Warsaw ghetto and to kneel down—then it’s clear he doesn’t kneel there for his own sake . . . he confesses a guilt that he doesn’t have to carry, and he asks for a forgiveness that he himself doesn’t need. Then he kneels there for Germany.’’ And so 70 years later, Grandmother Lee and the hundreds of thousands of souls of the departed continue to wait for their justice and peace. As someone who was put into an internment camp as an infant, I know firsthand that governments must not be ignorant of their pasts. In 1942, during World War II, my country, my government, put aside the constitutional rights of Japanese Americans and systematically incarcerated thousands of us—120,000. We were U.S. citizens, but we also looked like the enemy. Decades later, we, the Japanese American community, fought for an apology from our own government. In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed into law H.R. 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. This was a formal apology to United States citizens of Japanese ancestry who were unjustly put into internment camps during World War II. Our government made a mistake, but they apologized for it and healed many wounds as a result. Even though 40 years have passed, it still warmed my heart to hear my government say, ‘‘We’re sorry.’’ Japan must now do the same. They must show the maturity of a democratic country, apologize for their mistake, and thereby gain the trust of their sister Asian nations. Violence against women continues today. According to the World Health Organization, women aged 15 to 44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria. By 1993, the Zenica Centre for the Registration of War and Genocide Crime in Bosnia-Herzegovina had documented 40,000 cases of war-related rape. Of a sample of Rwandan women surveyed in 1999, 39 percent reported being raped during the 1994 genocide, and 72 percent said they knew someone who had been raped. An estimated 23,000, to 46,000 Kosovar Albanian women are believed to have been raped between August 1998 and August 1999, the height of the conflict with Serbia. In 2003, 74 percent of a random sample of 399 Liberian refugee women living in camps in Sierra Leone reported being sexually abused prior to being displaced from their homes in Liberia. Fifty-five percent of them experienced sexual violence during displacement. Even today, the U.N. labeled the Democratic Republic of Congo as the ‘‘rape capital of the world.’’ There are rape camps that are destroying the lives of babies, young people—boys and girls—and women and men. In the DRC, 48 women are raped every hour. In addition, according to a recent Human Rights Watch report, the extremist group ISIL has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yazidi women and girls in northern Iraq. ISIS forces took several thousand Yazidi civilians into custody in northern Iraq’s province in August 2014, according to Kurdistan officials and community leaders. Witnesses said that fighters systematically separated young women and girls from their families and other captives and moved them from one location to another inside Iraq and Syria. The 11 women and 9 girls Human Rights Watch interviewed had escaped between September 2014 and January 2015. Half, including two 12-year-old girls, said they had been raped—some multiple times and by several ISIS fighters. Nearly all of them said they had been forced into marriage; sold—in some cases, a number of times; or given as ‘‘gifts.’’ The women and girls also witnessed other captives being abused. Violence against women must stop. Today, there are fewer than 100 surviving Comfort Women women across the Asia Pacific. Each year, this number declines. The survivors are dying by the day. They deserve the justice that has been due to them for the past 70 years. They deserve the justice that has been denied them. These women want and deserve an official apology. In 1991, with the swift courage of Kim Hak-sun, she brought to light her story of being a sex slave to the Japanese Imperial Army. Her story was the spark that ignited the flames of justice. Since then, we have the courageous survivors, such as Grandmother Lee, who continues to be a voice for the voiceless. We also have the courage of Ms. Jan Ruff O’Herne, who now resides in Australia. Ms. O’Herne was born in Java in the former Dutch East Indies, known today as Indonesia. When she was 19 years old, Japanese troops invaded Java. They were interned in Japanese prison camps. Two years later, she was selected, along with several other girls, and was told by the Japanese military that they were there for the sexual pleasure of the Japanese military. As Ms. O’Herne relayed during the 2007 House Foreign Affairs hearing on Protecting the Human Rights of Comfort Women, a Japanese officer ran his sword all over her body and forced himself on her. The trauma these women—these girls—endured is unimaginable. That is why my patience for securing justice for the dignity of these victims is running out. The opportunity to speak to a joint session of Congress is an honor that is reserved for the heads of state of our closest allies. It is my sincere hope that, for Ms. O’Herne’s sake, for Kim Hak-sun’s sake, for Grandmother Lee’s sake, Prime Minister Abe will take the privilege to address the joint meeting of Congress and finally and firmly apologize and commit to educating the future generations honestly and humbly. The spirit of these women—these girls—deserves no less. In closing, I am going to quote Grandmother Lee’s comments when she testified before our subcommittee in 2007. She said: If you cannot apologize to me, give me back my youth. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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