Posted on July 27, 2010
On July 26, 2010, Korean American Voters Council’s 2010 summer internships visited Washington D.C. and obtained appointments from the House of Foreign Affairs Committee for subsequent actions of the Japanese Comfort Women resolution that was passed on July 30, 2007.
This day’s trip is a part of the Korean American Voters’ Council’s summer internship program that began 6 months ago, in which they visited Washington D.C. and planned to have time to listen to Federal members’ opinions of and request to resolve the current issue in the Korean American society. Meanwhile, as students set Voter Registration campaigns in the neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey, they learned about the resolution of comfort women (H. Res. 121), US FTA, immigration reform, the DREAM Act, and issues of the Korean peninsula by researching the required comments to make rapid resolutions. In the process, Gary Ackerman (Democratic Party, the New York State, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the Subcommittee to the Middle East) Rep., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican, the state of Florida, House of Foreign Relations Committee Republican staff) Rep., were met in person and were asked questions.
In this process, the Korean American Voters’ Council directly attended Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Rep.’s press conference in the Federal House of Representatives as she spoke about how we should not forget the resolution of Japanese comfort women, passed in 2007, and the Japanese government officially realized the problem of Japanese comfort women but still without apology, saying rapid time is required for the resolution of the comfort women and required to comply with the requirements. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Rep. is waiting for Japan’s apology to the surviving comfort women, as time goes on, the number of survivors decrease and until the Federal House of Representatives receives an apology from the Japanese Government, the Federal members will not forget and make decisions of commitment to the implementation of the resolution of comfort women.
Congressman Gary Ackerman, who represents parts of New York State’s Queens and Long Island, states that resolution of Japanese army’s comfort women are not forced, but it is a part of Japan’s government’s responsibility that is being delayed and demanded an immediate apology. In respond of the students’ question after Cheonan Ham incident which increased tension over peninsula of Korea, Congressman Ackerman explained that this incident was caused by North Korea’s aggressiveness that can be shown during changes in political power. In order to relieve the tension, there should be clarifying conversations between South and North Korea, but the problem was that 46 lives were taken away during the incident. United States should only aid in the unification of South and North Korea and emphasized the conversation between South and North Korea. In the answer to the question about Korea-U.S Liberal Trade Agreement, Congressman Ackerman states that the Korea-U.S Liberal Trade Agreement is very important to United State’s treaty of trade. If the changes of negotiation that President Obama support is passed to Congress, it should definitely be passed, says Congressman Ackerman. Congressman Ackerman also answered question about Dream Act. He also supports Dream Act and is his dream to be passed through the law. In the other hands, he added that partial congressmen disagree to Dream Act because of political reason. Dream Act must be passed which time matters the most and hard to predict when it will be passed.
Congressman Ackerman says that Korean Voters’ Council’s intern students suggested great opinions and Koreans should be more involved in elections and politics. Last year, Kevin Kim and others challenged in election but failed due to lack of participants of Koreans and suggested young people’s participation.
On this day, from Voters’ Council, 25 participants from New York, 20 interns from New Jersey, Volunteers, and their family members participated and visited the Capitol, congressmen and interviewed about Japan Army’s comfort women resolution by the cooperation of Office of Congressman.