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“Comfort Women” Resolution Passes U.S. House Committee Vote 39-2

“Comfort Women” Resolution Passes U.S. House Committee Vote 39-2

Posted June. 28, 2007 03:14,   


The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted Resolution 121, which condemns Japan’s sexual enslavement of women for its army during World War II yesterday, and called for the Japanese Prime Minister’s official apology. The house committee passed Resolution 121, submitted by Rep. Michael Honda on January 31 and signed by 151 members of the House of Representatives, by an overwhelming vote of 39-2.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, a critical figure in taking the resolution to the House floor for a vote, expressed her support in a statement right after the passing of the bill, “I look forward to the House of Representatives passing the resolution and sending a strong message that we will not forget the tremendous suffering endured by comfort women.”

The resolution is highly likely to be approved by a large margin in the full House since the House speaker showed her strong support for the resolution in last February.

The resolution was partially watered down compared to the previous one submitted by Rep. Honda. Chairman Rep. Tom Lantos suggested a partial revision of the bill and Rep. Honda accepted the offer after consulting with some chiefs of the Korean American Association on Monday, said a source familiar with Congress.

The article has been weakened from a previous one demanding for Japanese prime minister’s official apology to a “recommendation” suggesting that the official apology by the prime minister will be useful for resolving the suspicions and mistrust regarding the inconsistent positions by former governments. And the resolution added a new provision that “The alliance between the U.S. and Japan serves as the cornerstone of U.S. security in the Asia-Pacific region and a major element for the region’s stability and prosperity.”

The Japanese government has doggedly lobbied Chairman Lantos and others by hiring two large law firms. A resolution introduced Rep. Lane Evans (who retired due to his debilitating health) passed in the International Relations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives last September, but was dismissed at the year’s end due to procrastination by the ruling Republicans worried over deteriorating relations with Japan.