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Rep. Honda says
"Sex Slave Resolution Will Clear House"
Mike Honda Confident of House Passage of Resolution
US Rep. Mike Honda

Washington DC — U.S. Rep. Mike Honda was confident Thursday (on Feb. 8, 2007) that a resolution that he and other American lawmakers have introduced condemning Japan for forcing Asian women to provide sex for the Japanese military during the war will clear the House of Representatives.

"We are enjoying bipartisan support as this resolution moves forward," the California Democrat said during a teleconference with reporters.

Honda and some powerful Republicans submitted the draft resolution on Jan. 31, urging the prime minister to issue an official apology for the suffering Japan caused the women, who were euphemistically called "comfort women."

A similar resolution asking for an apology for as many as 200,000 women forced into sexual servitude for millions of Japanese soldiers during the war was passed last year by the House of Representatives foreign affairs panel.

However, the Republicans, who then controlled Congress, never brought it before the House.

The Japanese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tokyo acknowledged in the 1990s that its military set up and ran brothels for its troops. But Japan has rejected most compensation claims, saying they were settled by postwar treaties.

Honda acknowledged Japan is "very sensitive" to the issue and that Japanese lobbyists in Washington have urged the resolution be dropped, saying it would be bad for U.S.-Japanese relations.

"I'm sure there will be resistance," Honda said. But, he added, "It's a necessary move that the Japanese have to take."

Honda called the resolution "a matter of fundamental justice. These brave women's wounds have been left to fester for over a half-century."

Next week, three comfort women are scheduled to appear at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia.
The current resolution does not recommend that Japan pay reparations to the women.

Instead, it urges Japan to accept moral responsibility for the women's misery with an official apology, to refute those who say the sexual enslavement never happened and to educate children about the sex slaves' experience.

The above article is from The Japan Times.






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