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Letter to Politicians

by kace

International Relations Committee
2170 RHOB

RE: Support for H. RES. 759 (Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Japan should formally acknowledge and accept responsibility for its sexual enslavement of young women, known to the world as ��comfort women,�� during its colonial occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II, and for other purposes).

Dear Chairperson Henry J. Hyde:

On behalf of the Korean American Voters�� Council of NY/NJ (KAVC), I am writing to show our collective support for H. RES. 759.

This effort has great significance for the Korean American community as well as the Asian community at large, specifically women as a whole. During World War II, the Japanese military forced hundreds of thousands of women to serve as sexual slaves. Euphemistically known as ��comfort women,�� they were predominantly Korean women and girls abducted from their homes and forced to serve Japanese soldiers. This government-sanctioned program created untold numbers of comfort stations or military brothels throughout Japanese-occupied territories in the Pacific Rim.

For decades after the war, the Government of Japan did not fully disclose these war crimes during negotiations for reparations with former enemies and colonial states and further it did not officially acknowledge the crimes until 1994, when their position changed. The Government of Japan admitted that ��the then Japanese military was directly or indirectly involved in the establishment and management of comfort stations and the transfer of comfort women [and] that this was an act that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women.�� Stripped of their dignity, robbed of their honor, most of them were forced to live their lives carrying those horrific experiences with them covered under a veil of shame.

During World War II, Japan��s quest to imperialize the rest of the world for the glory of their Emperor brought them to the doorstep of the United States. The atrocities of the Pearl Harbor bombing by Japanese kamikaze bombers still tarnish the history of the world. And yet we see today that the relations between the United States and Japan are stronger than ever. We all know that the reason why the United States joined World War II was to fight for democracy and the God-given rights of the people who were being oppressed all over the world.

As Representative Lane Evans said, ��The United States was a government based on the then-radical concept that we all have certain immutable God-given rights that should never be violated, not only the people in the US but people all over the world. It matters not that injustices were committed against these women and girls in Korea over fifty years ago or fifty minutes ago. There is no statute of limitation on crimes against humanity. When human rights are violated, the international community must act because we have a moral responsibility to do so.��

Although reparations and public apologies have been made by Japan to many of the other peoples of the Pacific Rim, Korea has been conveniently left out. Even now, Japan has lobbyists in Washington making sure this horrific chapter of world history will never see the light of day, to cover up their blatant crimes to humanity.

To see that the United States government, a government which has always stood for the rights of people and pursuit of democracy, condoning the cover-up of these war crimes against humanity, which Japan has been and is still lobbying for, puts the United States and Japan on equal grounds. It is embarrassing to see such a proud and democratic government not only aid but sit idly as the Government of Japan tries to erase their crimes from the annals of time. Edmund Burke once said, ��The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.�� Hopefully this will not be the case with this.

And it was two hundred years ago when Thomas Jefferson wrote: ��the laws of humanity make it a duty for nations, as well as individuals, to help those whom accident and distress have thrown upon them.�� Therefore, KAVC as a representative of the Korean American community is writing to you today. We respectfully ask that you not only recognize the importance of this issue to the Korean American community, but also give your full support for H. RES. 759.

If you would like to show your support, please contact Program Director Daniel Baek at either our NY Headquarters at 718-961-4117 or so we can set up an appointment to meet and coordinate our efforts for this cause. All supports will be recognized and listed in our upcoming newsletter and the Korean media.

Thank you for your time and consideration and we hope to hear from you soon.


David H. Chung
Chair of the Advisory Board

Dongsuk Kim
Executive Director
* kavc님에 의해서 게시물 이동되었습니다 (2008-07-29 05:51)