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Even Japanese Organizations Support the Resolution

Posted April. 26, 2007 03:18,   


A voter movement that urges the U.S. House of Representatives to adopt a “comfort women” resolution is gaining momentum.

On April 24, two days before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington D.C., Chicago-based JPCL announced a statement that strongly supports a comfort women resolution. JPCL is a national civic group in America, whose aim is empowerment of Japanese Americans. JPCL is the first Japanese group in America that publicly supports such a resolution.

The Japanese group called on the Prime Minister to offer an official apology and on the Japanese government to correct its historic texts. Japan Society is scheduled to hold a seminar regarding comfort women resolution early next month.

As of April 24, more than 83 lawmakers supported a resolution submitted by Congressman Michael Honda. And at least seven lawmakers said they would vote for the resolution.

Korean Voter Center in New York and New Jersey, which has been collecting signatures from lawmakers, said that the number of signatures would soon surpass 100 and reach its goal of 120. Members of the Center visited each lawmaker’s office several times and explained their cause with the aim of rousing support. Dr. Larry Niksch of Congressional Research Service said, “That is a big number.”

To support the resolution and to urge Japan to apologize, leaders of Korean American groups decided to run a third-page political advertisement in the Washington Post on April 26, the date the Japanese Prime Minister commences his U.S. visit. Originally, they wanted a full-page ad in both the New York Times and the Washington Post, but unfortunately, the rates – anywhere between $140,000 and $170,000 – were too high.

A $38,000 ad cost was financed by Korean Americans. Jeong Yeong-in, who runs a clothing company, gave $10,000. “Lobby Day,” which was cancelled because of the Virginia Tech attack, is once again on the agenda.

Large lobbying companies located in Washington, including “H”, hired by the Japanese government, have sent out letters advising lawmakers “The intention of the resolution is not bad but the Japanese government has already acted and the time is not right.” These companies have their agents meet the lawmakers in person with alleged offers of financial support.