I want to take a moment to look at the House resolution intended to criticize Japan’s government for failure to “acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner” over comfort women who served the Japanese military during WW2 currently under debate in the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment. A recent Japan Times article features some of her testimony from a Feb 15 hearing on the matter:
“The Japanese government is always trying to resolve this issue at its own convenience,” she said. “They took us and forced us to become comfort women and, even now, they continue to deny the facts.”
On an evening in 1944, Japanese soldiers forced their way into 14-year-old Lee’s home and dragged her out by the neck. She was taken to Taiwan, where she was forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers.
“Except for the few wrinkles on my face, I have not changed at all since I was turned into a sex slave at the age of 14. I remained unmarried,” Lee said. “I can never forgive the Japanese government.”
(You can watch a video of the proceedings here. Note the pitifully low attendance!)
Apparently there’s also a bill submitted by opposition lawmakers in the Diet’s upper house to the same effect:
Tokyo should officially recognize the women Japan forced into sexual slavery for the Imperial army in the 1930s and ’40s and formally apologize, a South Korean former “comfort woman” demanded Wednesday.
“I have had it with the Japanese government’s shrewd ways,” Lee Yong Soo said, speaking on a panel with opposition lawmakers who have a bill before the House of Councilors on the wartime sex slave issue.
It should be noted that this caucus of opposition lawmakers has been unsuccessfully submitting similar bills since 2001. It is much smaller news compared to the resolution under debate in the House that is likely to pass after it died last year before coming to a vote (thanks to successful lobbying by Japan).
The prospect of a resolution criticizing Japan’s wartime actions passing in the House has sparked protests at the highest levels of government. Foreign Minister Taro Aso has called the resolution “not based on objective facts,” while Japan’s ambassador to the US Ryozo Kato has written a letter to the subcommittee that tries to emphasize that the matter has already been resolved.
Much of the press coverage of this resolution has been sympathetic to the proponents of the resolution and the former comfort women who gave testimony, while the Japanese opposition has been characterized as embarrassed and callous to these women’s plights. But I’d like to direct you to Yasuhisa Komori’s coverage of the resolution, in which he highlights the statement of Republican California Representative Dana Rohrabacher that opposes the resolution on the grounds of “grave doubts about the wisdom and even the morality of going any further and adopting resolutions like H. Res. 121, which is before us today” mainly because “Japan has in fact done exactly what the resolution demands,” which is the Japanese government’s position (although there are those who would like to retract some of the official statements on this issue).
I don’t often find myself agreeing with the Japanese government on much of anything, but what would passing this resolution achieve for the comfort women’s cause? Would it aid in the ongoing Japanese court cases where they are demanding compensation? No. Would it prevent the Abe government from retracting the “Kono statement” apologizing for the use of comfort women? Nope! Basically, the Korea lobby is trying to use a more sympathetic House to try and humiliate Japan and weaken its position, and Japan isn’t having it. I feel bad for the comfort women, but resolutions like this seem like a colossal waste of Congress’s time and smack of political exploitation. Remember how ridiculous it sounded when France’s legislature passed a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide?
23 thoughts on “Comfort Women Resolution Under Debate in the House”
A wise post Adam.
I personally think that a legislative body is no way to discuss issues of historical “correctness”, period. There will always be members with vested interests attempting to pull the debate in one direction or the other, most without a solid training in historiography. Politicians should make history, not analyse it.
Here’s Rep. Rohrbacher’s quote from Komori’s site: (it was unviewable in Firefox, maybe it’s ok in IE?)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
February 15, 2007
House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment
Hearing on the Comfort Women Resolution, H. Res. 122
“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Today, we are addressing a subject that is very painful, especially to the families and those for comfort women who will be providing testimony for us today. To each of those brave women, I extend my thanks for participating today and to help Americans understand the suffering that took place during this time during the Second World War and my most sincere, my most sincere sympathy for the pain and the suffering and the agony that these individuals have had to suffer. As everyone knows, during World War II, Japan forced many thousands of innocent women from other countries in Asia to perform sexual services for the Japanese military. The victims, known by the euphemism “comfort women” were not only raped many times but also mistreated and murdered. Many died and all of them suffered greatly. George Santayana said that “those who cannot remember the past are certainly condemned to repeat it”, so thus it is fitting for this subcommittee to set the factual record straight about this tragic history, one which would help the world to avoid repeating any such actions. This, in and of itself, setting the record straight, is a worthy goal. However, I have grave doubts about the wisdom and even the morality of going any further and adopting resolutions like H. Res. 121, which is before us today and I will explain why. H. Resolution 121 demands that Japan apologize, but Mr. Chairman, Japan has already apologized many, many times, which is exactly what they should have done. They should have apologized and they did. The central thrust of H. Resolution 121 is to demand, and I quote, “Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner”. But the most compelling point in our discussion should be that Japan has in fact done exactly what the resolution demands. Japan has apologized many times and has done so in clear and strong terms and that raises questions about this resolution. In 1994, for example, the Japanese prime minister stated the following: “On the issue of wartime comfort women, which seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women, I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my profound and sincere remorse and apologies.” Of course, this is not the whole story. A line of Japanese prime ministers, many Japanese prime ministers since 1994 have issued very similar statements. The current Prime Minister Abe, for example, has confirmed the policy of his predecessors and I would like to submit for the record a copy of the text of Prime Minister Koizumi’s letter to comfort women so that Prime Minister Koizumi stated very clearly, “As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. We must not evade the weight of the past nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future.” That is a prime minister of Japan and the words, “As Prime Minister of Japan” are key here. That was meaning he was apologizing for the Japanese people. It was an official apology by the Prime Minister of Japan exercising his official capacity. Japan has a parliamentary system, it also has a Prime Minister who is a member of the Diet. In addition, the Diet has issued numerous statem4ents accepting responsibilities for Japan’s actions during the Second World War. Mr. Chairman, this issue of an apology has been fully and satisfactorily addressed. Yes, it is important for us to set the record straight for history, exactly how diabolical and horrible these activities were by the Japanese during the Second World War. But we must be accurate in what we are saying in terms of the Japanese position of today. For example, another part of H. 121 which I find to be misleading is the fact that it talks about Japanese textbooks downplaying the comfort women tragedy. Well, as in the United States, textbooks in Japan are chosen by local not central government authorities. A panel of experts in Japan has identified 18 history books that are used by the Japanese high school students. Of those 18, 16 address the comfort women matter and all 18 describe the suffering of peoples in neighboring countries during the Second World War. Well, Japan’s responsibility for those countries and this horrible crime is great. But so is its regret. And in 16 of those 18 books that are used in the high schools, they address the comfort women issue and those 16 books represent between 93 and 95% of all of Japan’s high school history texts. It seems to me that, yes, we want to make sure that history is recorded accurately, but we want to make sure that we are not saying that the current Japanese people and government have not acknowledged those wrong deeds. Every country in the world has committed crimes, not just the Japanese. Every country in the world—and Mr. Chairman, I might note that you have repeatedly called to our attention some of the crimes the United States government has committed by error or intentionally over the years and I have heard you in many hearings call into question horrible things that our government has done. So, this isn’t a question of is Japan any dirtier than the rest of us in terms of having made mistakes. And the fact is that they have acknowledged those dirty deeds. IN some cases, I will have to say the United States has been less apologetic about some of the crimes that we have committed and we have in the past. Finally let me note, Mr. Chairman, that we have to make sure that what we do in condemning the past and that which has already been condemned and he have demanded that of Japan that we are not unfairly suggesting that the Japanese of today must in some way be punished for what their two generations of Japanese ago did. That is not the way to create more harmony in this world. So, accept accountability, it is really important. Setting the record straight is really important. You are right. We must set a humane and decent standard. But let me just say that it is my reading of the world today that the Japanese, in alliance with the United states and other Western powers, is a major force for decency and humane standards today. It wasn’t that way sixty and 100 years ago, but today Japan is pivotal to the Western democracies fight to have these human rights standards that are so important for civilization. So let us not beat someone after they have apologized. Let’s make sure that we acknowledge and thank them for being open with us on those issues to the degree that they have. Now, if I am wrong, I am willing to listen and to hear, but I have got the quotes from the prime ministers, we have got people we have talked to, the Japanese, they all suggest that we are so sorry about these things and apologize profusely, et cetera and it seems to me that we should be setting the record straight but not blaming the current generation of Japanese. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”
If this thing goes greenlighted,there will be a huge reaction in Japan.
Bryce, would you say the same thing in reference to politicians making statements apology for their own country’s past actions?
I do agree that it is quite silly for a country to pass a resolution condemning the long past actions of another country. Maybe current actions, but I don’t see the point of something like this.
If you had bothered to read some of the testimony or listened, you would have known:
1. Mr Rohrbacher simply read the Embassy of Japan’s lobbying statement and Komori simply filled in what he forgot to say.
2. It was an amusing statement because all the congresssmen had received it and knew what he was reading plus he pronouced every single Japanese name wrong which produced giggles in the room. Abe like Abe Lincoln.
3. Read all the testimony. It is clear that this resolution is an opinion and a suggestion. Japan’s inability to successfuly resolve its “history” issues has and is adversely affecting US relations with the region. This is the Japan afterall that Team Armitage claims is our representative in the region and our best ally ever; this is the Japan that claims to be the thought leader for the region. And this is the Japan that none of the other US allies such as Korea, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines trusts one bit.
Why do you so unthinkingly accept the mistatements and half-truths of the Japanese lobbying document.
In reality, Japan has NEVER given an official governmental apology. Moreover, ever statement in the lobbying document is extremely easy to refute. Again, you might want to read the testimony of the last panel.
Oh I forgot, these are only women’s voices so that must not be right and must be emotional.
“this is the Japan that none of the other US allies such as Korea, Australia, Singapore, the Philippines trusts one bit.””Japan has NEVER given an official governmental apology.”
Ｓｅｒｉｏｕｓ？Ｄｉｄｎ’ｔ ｋｎｏｗ ｔｈａｔ．
Ａｎｔｉ whalers,Debito Ardou,and now what do we have here!
Maybe last lion is a Congress otaku? Or perhaps a hill staffer for the American Samoan delegate? I did miss the finer nuances of the representatives statement, but at least Rohrbacher has a vote in Congress, unlike one of the supporters of the resolution in the subcommittee.
Why do you so unthinkingly support the misleading half-truths of the resolution and its backers? Why don’t the apologies that have already been issued count? And what are you talking about “Australia and the Philippines don’t trust Japan??
So I guess MF not having any female posters has come back to bite us in the ass after all. The women’s testimony is actually one part of the proceedings that I did catch, even though the halting interpretation made it almost impossible to follow. Their stories are tragic and I don’t really doubt their veracity. It’s just a fact that they happen to be in the wrong building. What business does the US Congress have telling Japan what to put in its history textbooks, which is one demand included in the resolution. This from a government that still hasn’t fully dealt with its own history of slavery.
Adamu: “This from a government that still hasn’t fully dealt with its own history of slavery.”
In the spirit of pure dispassionate inquiry, and because it seems to bear some relevance to the CW issue, what exactly is “fully dealt with”? Who decides? Is an issue, for example, still alive so long as there is one lone voice calling for attention? How do we know that that one voice is not motivated by politics rather than justice?
My basic question here is simply that, whether for slavery or war crimes or colonial oppression or male-centred workplaces or anything where an injustice is perceived, is it ever possible to finally, completely, shut the book on it – to fully deal with it? And if not, where do we draw the line?
I feel like doing the right thing is the best form of apology, but you can’t really expect a government to do the right thing all on its own. A US government apology for slavery would probably be as worthless as the comfort women resolution, but at least then Congress would be talking about something that’s actually relevant to the US.
I think the question of where one draws the line or shuts the book is urelated to the basic fact that the US Congress is the wrong place to have the debate. On both sides I see lobbyists who feel the need to prove their worth, but in this case I feel like the Japanese side wins on a technicality. And anyway this resolution out in the open, regardless of whether it passes, is a lose-lose situation for Japan. If it passes, they get a semi-official rebuke from the US government (though I am pretty sure this will not force State Dept officials to make comfort women issue a talking point in bilateral meetings), but if they successfully kill it they look like they are trying to silence the comfort women.
But in terms of shutting the book, I think the comfort women case makes it clear that there is no neat line, no matter how much the Japanese tried to wipe the slate clean with Korea back in the 60s or even with a renewed effort in the mid 90s. The comfort women were clearly not satisfied by the deals, and denied Japanese government funds without an official apology. And the Japanese government has been sufficiently hostile to their claims to the point where the campaign to make things right with the comfort women has become an international movement. I feel like Japan could have defanged this issue as a political hammer to beat Japan over the head with if it would just meet it head on.
Easier said than done.
It takes two to tango.One apologize and the other reconcile.
Virginia just passed an apology resolution for slavery today which is said to be fairly comprehensive, although I haven’t read it, or any detailed reports on it yet.
I also don’t think that slavery and the comfort women issue are really quite comparable, because all former American slaves are long dead, but many of the comfort women are still alive. If the Japanese government wants to make a real gesture of good will they can send some money to these poor women, instead of waiting for them to simply wear out and die. Almost all of the former comfort women are deeply impoverished, and even a pittance would make a huge difference to improve their last few years.
From the BBC:
Virginia ‘sorry’ for slavery role
Virginia’s General Assembly has adopted a resolution, expressing “profound regret” for the role the US state played in slavery.
The resolution was passed by a 96-0 vote in the House and also unanimously backed in the 40-member Senate.
Although non-binding, the resolution sent an important symbolic message, its sponsors said.
Lawmakers also expressed regret for “the exploitation of Native Americans” in Virginia.
Saturday’s resolution was passed as the state was preparing to mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, where the first Africans arrived in 1619.
It said that government-sanctioned slavery “ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation’s history”.
“The abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding,” the resolution said.
The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 officially ended slavery in the US.
In 2003, President George W Bush described the transatlantic slave trade as “one of the greatest crimes of history”, without giving an outright apology.
This is not the matter of pittance don’t you think?MF.This is about reparations and compensations of past wrong doings.This is the matter of the both treaties and international laws,historic evidence and social debates,checking facts and differentiate propagandas.
There are a half century of loooong political and legal framework for normalization of Japan’s relation to the world.World simply shouldn’t just forget this and demand Japan to start all over again.
Could good people of the world,first do some research on the Tokyo’s effort on this issue in the last 60 years,THEN jump onto the multinational birchfestwagon?Otherwise we will continually confuse ourselves.
Japan had paid and paid and paid to Koreans(and others)in the name of both reparation and better bilateral relations for the last four decades(although they are not always named “reparation”).Maybe Seoul should just sell out all the facilities of POSCO et al and give that money to their righteous victims.They were supposed to be doing so as their part of the responsibility according to the Korean declassified documents of normalization treaty with Japan.
If Koreans chose to hate Japan and live with it,then that is the cross we will carry eternally.
By the way,I would never use the word “waiting and simply wear out and die”,MF.
It is natural to come up with the conclusion only the time will heal the wounds.
But reaaly how much do you all know about identity of these women.
And I don’t trust BBC on Japan.
These women from focus groups○
“But reaaly how much do you all know about identity of these women.”
I met several last year, three from Taiwan and one from Korea, and I am just repeating what they were saying. After their time as “comfort women” they all had pretty miserable lives, ostracized from society and divorced by husbands who found out about their past. The Taiwanese ones at least survive on minimal welfare payments from the Taiwanese government, but they have never gotten anything from Japan and would certainly like be able to live out their last years in some comfort, and maybe have the Japanese government acknowledge what happened to them. Yes, the Kono Statement says that the Japanese government apologizes for the treatment of comfort women in a general sense, but as far as I know there has never been any official confirmation of individual victims, but I could be mistaken. It would certainly be a nice thing for the government to do.
It may be a matter of treaties and international law and all that for the governments and politicians, but many of the former victims are just not as interested in abstract things like that.
Also, yes Japan paid money to Korea that was supposed to go to former victims, and it was never delivered by the Korean government to the people, so that is really an issue that should be taken up with the Korean government. However, that was long before the stories of comfort women were public knowledge and long before the Japanese government acknowledged their truth, and so comfort women were not among the victims that would have been compensated then anyway. The Kono statement also recognized that there had been comfort women born in Japan, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macao, and French Indochina. (I assume Taiwan is included as part of China due to the one China police-HK and Macao were still European ruled at that time.) Even if you suppose that the Korea payments in the past were enough to discharge Japan’s obligation to Korean victims, what about the recognized victims in other countries?
I still don’t see why the US Congress should be getting involved in this matter. It’s fine for members of congress to get involved in the debate as individuals, but it’s just silly for an outside government to be doing this. I believe that Japan still should make more reparations and have some kind of truth commission create a more detailed report that actually lists by name all of the verifiable victims of sex slavery, forced labor and so on, but I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about it and I really dislike getting into discussion about what they should or shouldn’t do. The important thing though is that I am only making a suggestion about what I think the best course of action for the Japanese government would be. I’m not saying they “must” do anything or making any silly statements or threats. Also, as a US citizen I think my government has no business making an official statement about this. If reparations or more apologies or truth commissions or whatever seem like they’ve been forced from the outside then it would probably wouldn’t seem sincere enough to actually help improve relations between Japan and other countries anyway.
What does mentioning how you don’t trust BBC on Japan have to do with this particular story?
I’m not an expert on this issue.So correct me if you find errors(including spellings).
“maybe have the Japanese government acknowledge what happened to them. Yes, the Kono Statement says that the Japanese government apologizes for the treatment of comfort women in a general sense, but as far as I know, but I could be mistaken.”
Still don’t understand what this “there has never been any official confirmation of individual victims”means.But there have been many apologies to comfort women issue.
Kono Statement河野談話was made during Miyazawa administration.when Kono Youhei was cabinet minister of the administration.PM Miyzawa Kiichi apologized more than once to Roh Tae Woo when he visit Seoul in ’92.
PM Murayama Tomiichialso apologized in ’94 specifically about comfort women.
In added to that PM Obuchi Keizo in Japan-South Korea Joint declaration of’98(this time in print) to Kim Dae Jung.Supposed to be the declaration to end all of the apology issue.
“It may be a matter of treaties and international law and all that for the governments and politicians, but many of the former victims are just not as interested in abstract things like that.”
No.Because,they could always take money from Asia Women’s Fund built by Socialist PM Murayama and runned by liberals like.Wada Haruki,and Ueno Chizuko.Since most of the Korean and some Taiwanese didn’t accept money,(Most of the Phillipinos, Indonesians and Dutch had accepted)this is the proof either they are interested in abstract things or they were under heavy pressure from focus groups in their countries not to take the money.
“However, that was long before the stories of comfort women were public knowledge and long before the Japanese government acknowledged their truth,
Comfort women were never a taboo subject in Japan,MF.There are lots of description in the books and representation in the movies.
GOJ acknowledged the fact(not truth)that there is a letter from Ministry of Army to the chief of staffs of expeditionary force in China that some of the recruiters could be accused of kidnapping in colonial Korea,because local police warned Army that they may start an investigation.
“comfort women were not among the victims that would have been compensated then anyway.”
I don’t need to tell you in the basic treaty covers all aspects of Japan’s victims.
“Even if you suppose that the Korea payments in the past were enough to discharge Japan’s obligation to Korean victims, what about the recognized victims in other countries?”
Covered in the bilateral agreements in the 50’s.
“I believe that Japan still should make more reparations and have some kind of truth commission create a more detailed report that actually lists by name all of the verifiable victims of sex slavery, forced labor and so on”
Truth commission is hardly working in any country.Besides it is covering the cases of atrocities ,both victim and the victimizer belongs to the one same country.
“What does mentioning how you don’t trust BBC on Japan have to do with this particular story”
A)Since you brought up out of context event bu quoting the very institution.
B)BBC covered so-called “Japanese orgy”in Zhuhai in Sept 2003 based fully on highly anti-Japanese Chinese media report with no concrete basis that it ever happened in the scale or timing.(Chines claimed it coincided Sept 18’s memorial day of Manchurian Invasion)Somehow BBC dismissed the slaughter of an entire family of 4 including elementary school kids,in Fukuoka by Chinese Students which happened exactly at the same time.
Ｃ）Nisshin Maru case.BBC was total mouthpiece of Greenpeace through the entire coverage.
Ｄ)On this particular topic we are debating right now,BBC had extensive coverage
While completely lacking what I mentioned in above.
E)I confess,the troll part in my head made me type that out……
Maybe our diet should push the capitol hill to follow the foot steps of Virginia,what do you think?
Sorry for the incoherent tone of my earlier comment, I was really too tired to write something like this today.
“Comfort women were never a taboo subject in Japan,MF.There are lots of description in the books and representation in the movies.”
I was mostly thinking about the rest of the world when I wrote this. I don’t think it was reported in say the US until much later, but I honestly have no idea.
“Still don’t understand what this “there has never been any official confirmation of individual victims”means.But there have been many apologies to comfort women issue.”
Yes, there have been several apologies. I really should have written in the form of a question. Do you know if the Japanese government has ever published a list of all the women that they admit were comfort women? I know that private organizations and perhaps other governments have lists (they also keep exact counts of how many are still alive) but I would be curious to know if Japan does as well.
I mentioned the Virginia thing in response to Adam’s comment that the US has not apologized for slavery, I think for obvious reasons. I actually checked a couple of US news sites quickly to find a non-BBC source (it feels silly to quote the BBC on an American story) but they didn’t seem to have posted an article yet, or I just didn’t spot it.
It might be a good idea for the US Congress to issue a statement like the VA one, but of course the diet should keep out of it, it goes both ways! Incidentally, VA is not the first state to make that sort of apology but it is one of the first. Missouri is considering one as well, so maybe the campaign will grow. Also, the US Senate made an apology on June 13 1995 for not enacting anti-lynching legislation earlier.
As for the BBC, I won’t deny anything you said (partly because I don’t feel like checking their archives right now), but maybe that is a debate for another time. Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll get to that discussion eventually.
BTW, here is the full text of the Virginia resolution.
SJ332: Involuntary servitude of Africans;
General Assembly to atone therefor and call for reconciliation.
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 332
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 3, 2007
Atoning for the involuntary servitude of Africans and calling for reconciliation among all Virginians.
Referred to Committee on Rules
WHEREAS, slavery has been documented as a worldwide practice since antiquity, dating back to 3500 B.C. in ancient Mesopotamia; and
WHEREAS, during the course of the infamous Atlantic slave trade, millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to the New World, and the first African slaves in the North American colonies were brought to Jamestown, in 1619; and
WHEREAS, the Atlantic slave trade was a lucrative enterprise, and African slaves, a prized commodity to support the economic base of plantations in the colonies, were traded for tropical products, manufactured goods, sugar, molasses, and other merchandise; and
WHEREAS, some African captives resisted enslavement by fleeing from slave forts on the West African coast and others mutinied aboard slave trading vessels, cast themselves into the Atlantic Ocean, or risked the cruel retaliation of their masters by running away to seek freedom; and
WHEREAS, although the United States outlawed the transatlantic slave trade in 1808, the domestic slave trade in the colonies and illegal importation continued for several decades; and
WHEREAS, slavery, or the “Peculiar Institution,” in the United States resembled no other form of involuntary servitude, as Africans were captured and sold at auction as chattel, like inanimate property or animals; and
WHEREAS, to prime Africans for slavery, the ethos of the Africans was shattered, they were brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized, and subjected to the indignity of being stripped of their names and heritage, and families were disassembled as husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons were sold into slavery apart from one another; and
WHEREAS, a series of complex colonial laws were enacted to relegate the status of Africans and their descendants to slavery, in spite of their loyalty, dedication, and service to the country, including heroic and distinguished service in the Civil War; and
WHEREAS, the system of slavery had become entrenched in American history and the social fabric, and the issue of enslaved Africans had to be addressed as a national issue, contributing to the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude on December 18, 1865; and
WHEREAS, after emancipation from 246 years of slavery, African Americans soon saw the political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction dissipated by virulent and rabid racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement of African-American voters, Black Codes designed to reimpose the subordination of African Americans, and Jim Crow laws that instituted a rigid system of de jure segregation in virtually all areas of life and that lasted until the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and
WHEREAS, throughout their existence in America and even in the decades after the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans have found the struggle to overcome the bitter legacy of slavery long and arduous, and for many African Americans the scars left behind are unbearable, haunting their psyches and clouding their vision of the future and of America’s many attributes; and
WHEREAS, acknowledgment of the crimes and persecution visited upon other peoples during World War II is embraced lest the world forget, yet the very mention of the broken promise of “40 acres and a mule” to former slaves or of the existence of racism today evokes denial from many quarters of any responsibility for the centuries of legally sanctioned deprivation of African Americans of their endowed rights or for contemporary policies that perpetuate the status quo; and
WHEREAS, in 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush stated, “Slavery is one of the greatest crimes of history, and its legacy still vexes the United States … Small men took on the powers and airs of tyrants and masters. Years of unpunished brutality and bullying and rape produced a dullness and hardness of conscience. Christian men and women became blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice. While physical slavery is dead, the legacy is alive. My nation’s journey toward justice has not been easy, and it is not over. For racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation … and many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times … But however long the journey, our destiny is set: liberty and justice for all”; and
WHEREAS, in the Commonwealth, home to the first African slaves, the vestiges of slavery are ever before African American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pretextual traffic stops and other indignities; and
WHEREAS, European and African nations have apologized for their roles in what history calls the worst holocaust of humankind, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and racial reconciliation is impossible without some acknowledgment of the moral and legal injustices perpetrated upon African Americans; and
WHEREAS, an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help African American and white citizens confront the ghosts of their collective pasts together; and
WHEREAS, the story of the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, the human carnage, and the dehumanizing atrocities committed during slavery should not be purged from Virginia’s history or discounted; moreover, the faith, perseverance, hope, and endless triumphs of African Americans and their significant contributions to the development of this Commonwealth and the nation should be embraced, celebrated, and retold for generations to come; and
WHEREAS, the perpetual pain, distrust, and bitterness of many African Americans could be assuaged and the principles espoused by the Founding Fathers would be affirmed, and great strides toward unifying all Virginians and inspiring the nation to acquiesce might be accomplished, if on the eve of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, the Commonwealth acknowledged and atoned for its pivotal role in the slavery of Africans; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby atone for the involuntary servitude of Africans and call for reconciliation among all Virginians; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Secretary of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Executive Director of the State Council of Higher Education, the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, and the Executive Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Virginia State Chapter, requesting that they further disseminate copies of this resolution to their respective constituents so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.
So you do not to wish to see the scenery of Rosen Aso preaching PC to Condy Rice.
I thought that would give a good bait for those who enjoy satire in the blogsphere,
(I’m confident about Adamu’s reaction)
“Sorry for the incoherent tone of my earlier comment, I was really too tired to write something like this today.”
Hey,I’m the one who’s been typing comments in the typical manner of east asian net troll,Why is it you to apologize,Besides this is “Mutantfrog Travelogue”,not “Aceface Travelogue”.Act like the big guy.
“Do you know if the Japanese government has ever published a list of all the women that they admit were comfort women? I know that private organizations and perhaps other governments have lists ”
I don’t put myself onto the duty of the constant comfort women watch,but the disputed point is “comfort women station”(this word was made in the 70’s)was run by private contractors and not under the direct control of the military.,therefore GOJ do not possess the list of ＡＬＬ the women in the job.,or at least that is where the GOJ stands.The list you’ve mentioned is the people who proclaim that they have worked in the station,though this would not make the concrete proof
The way Asia women Fund had paid the money to the ex-victims were different in the countries,due to the difficulty of reconfirm the validity of the individual case.That is why GOJ(and myself)is reluctant to pay compensation to each individuals.
Go over to their website if you have the time.
アジア女性基金Asian women Fund
“So you do not to wish to see the scenery of Rosen Aso preaching PC to Condy Rice.”
I’ve changed my mind. I WOULD like to see that.
“the disputed point is “comfort women station”(this word was made in the 70’s)was run by private contractors and not under the direct control of the military.,therefore GOJ do not possess the list of ＡＬＬ the women in the job.,or at least that is where the GOJ stands.”
This reminds me of the fully owned but technically separate supply company that Ritsumeikan uses to avoid competitive bidding, and offer low paying jobs to employees they like without having to give them real employment contracts.
“Go over to their website if you have the time.”
I could not remember the name of this group yesterday. I’m too busy today, but I will read through their site later and see how well it answers my questions from before.
Have you read this report on comfort women documented by a U.S. Army information officier? If you follow the link below, you can find out the details of their daily lives.
Report No. 49: Japanese POW Interrogation on Prostitution.
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