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US lawmakers call Japan’s statement on comfort women ‘unacceptable’

/ 08:22 AM July 01, 2014

• 17 members of Congress ask Tokyo to accept responsibility

WASHINGTON, DC – Seventeen members of Congress from both parties led by Rep. Mike Honda on June 27 told the Japan’s ambassador to the US that 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, was “regrettable and unfortunate.”

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The letter sent to Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae also calls “unacceptable” the report’s suggestion that this enslavement has not been confirmed.

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.

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In the letter, Honda writes, “the timing and the contents of the report destabilizes the ‘Comfort Women’ issue and draws unnecessary attention away from the plight of the survivors themselves. The ‘Comfort Women’ are dying by the day, and they deserve every measure of dignity and respect. It is a matter of fundamental women’s rights and human rights.”

Honda has pushed the comfort women issue since his days as a member of the California State Assembly. In 2007, he introduced H.Res. 121, which called on the government of Japan to acknowledge, accept historical responsibility, and unequivocally apologize to surviving women. In addition, the Resolution called on the Government of Japan to educate the current and future generations about these horrible crimes.

The letter was signed by: Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA17); Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY03);

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL20); Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ09);Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA17); Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA11); Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA51); Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA44); Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA47); Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA28); Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA46); Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA35); Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY19)

Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-AS); Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY13); Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY06); Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL06);Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA03).

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TAGS: Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, Japanese apology, Kono Statement, Rep. Mike Honda, World War II comfort women
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