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Rep. Honda to press for resolution that Japan opposes

by kace

Name           KAVC (
Subject           Rep. Honda to press for resolution that Japan opposes

Representative Mike Honda (D-Calif.) plans to carry on the work of retired Representative Lane Evans (D-Ill.), by introducing a revised resolution in the new Congress calling for Japan to formally acknowledge and accept responsibility for sexually enslaving women during World War II and working to pass it.

By taking on the issue, the Japanese-American lawmaker will be prompting intense lobbying activities from the Korean-American community, which last year rallied behind the resolution sponsored by Evans, and from the Japanese government, which opposed the legislation.

Evans, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, retired at the end of the 109th Congress.

The House International Relations Committee passed the resolution last fall, and even though it did not have the force of law, it put the Government of Japan on the defensive. The Government of Japan continues to argue that it has already formally apologized and made reparations for their war crimes involving the so-called “comfort women.”

During Japan’s occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of WWII, Japan used as many as 200,000 young women, kidnapped from Korea, China, the Philippines and in some cases Western Europe for sexual servitude, a government-sponsored program designed to increase the efficiency and morale of the Japanese soldiers.

The women were subjected to beatings, extreme sexual violence and torture. Often women serviced up to 36 men a day. Many women were killed if they became ill or too tired. Many survivors committed suicide.

Representative Honda’s office is determined to reintroduce the resolution as soon as possible in the new Congress. His staff is working on are revised version of the legislation, which is going to be similar to the resolution sponsored by Rep. Evans and Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

“I look forward to seeking the justice the comfort women deserve knowing that Lane Evans blazed much of the trail,” Honda, chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a floor statement on the last day of the 109th.

Evans had tried to pass the resolution for four years and managed to secure a promise from now-retired fellow Illinoisan Representative Henry Hyde (R), former chairman of the International Relations panel, to move the legislation.

Representative Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), incoming chairman of the panel, supported the resolution last year and is expected to do so again.
* kavc님에 의해서 게시물 이동되었습니다 (2008-07-29 05:51)