‘Comfort women’ vote passes
Yomiuri newspaper, Tokyo, Japan.
Aya Igarashi Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution Monday calling for a formal apology from Japan over the “comfort women system of forced military prostitution” by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II, dealing a fresh blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The resolution over the issue is the first to be passed during a regular House session. Though the resolution is not legally binding, its passage is a setback for the Abe administration, after his ruling coalition suffered a crushing defeat in Sunday’s House of Councillors election.
Describing the “comfort women system of forced military prostitution by the Government of Japan” from the 1930s to the end of World War II as “one of the largest cases of human trafficking in the 20th century,” the resolution demands a formal, unambiguous apology from Japan and a thorough review of the nation’s history education.
The resolution was submitted in January by Japanese-American lawmaker Mike Honda, D-Calif., who led lawmakers denouncing Japan over the issue. On June 26, it was overwhelmingly approved by a 39-2 vote of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress.
On Monday, the resolution was cosponsored by 167 lawmakers, out of a total of 435 in the House.
During his first visit to the United States as prime minister in April, Abe offered an apology to former comfort women at a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other congressional leaders. Ryozo Kato, ambassador to the United States, also had asked the U.S. Congress not to pass the measure, saying, “Approving the resolution, which isn’t based on objective facts, won’t bring anything good to the Japan-U.S. relationship.”
In Monday’s vote, a rule to simplify the deliberative process was applied, under which the 435-seat House was allowed to proceed with debate even if less than half the members were present. Therefore, only a few members of Congress took part in a voice vote. As no objections were raised, the House speaker declared the resolution adopted.
The congressional leadership set the voting date for Monday, the day after Japan’s upper house election, to prevent any possible impact on the election.
The House committee is expected to approve Tuesday another resolution concerning Japan. Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J., has submitted a measure recognizing Japan’s status as one of the most reliable security partners of the United States and its support of the U.S.-led military effort in Iraq and the Indian Ocean.
(Aug. 1, 2007)
The confirmation of the fact relevance of this resolution is hardly performed.
Such an important resolution was voted on by “only a few members of Congress”.
I have understood what kind of thing the American House of Representatives is well.