For Immediate Release
July 30, 2007
Becky Belcore, KRCC, 773.506.9158
Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC, 323.937.3703
Yu Soung Mun, YKASEC, 718.460-5600
Dae Joong Yoon, KRC, 323.937.3718
Cliff Sukjae Lee, YKU, 714.728.0702
Korean American Communities Applaud House Resolution Supporting Redress to Former Comfort Women
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE UNANIMOUS BIPARTISAN PASSAGE OF HOUSE RESOLUTION 121
Korean Alliance for Peace and Justice
Young Koreans United of USA
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago,
Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles,
YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community in Flushing
(Los Angeles, CA) House Resolution 121, introduced by Representative Mike Honda (D – CA), states that Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner, refute any claims that the issue of comfort women never occurred, and educate current and future generations "about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the 'comfort women'."
Korean American communities are overjoyed with the news. In 2001, Representative Lane Evans (D – IL) introduced the first ever resolution to address comfort women redress. Present on that day to announce the bill’s introduction was the late Soon Duck Kim, former comfort woman and a leading spokesperson from the House of Sharing (collective home for former comfort women based in Kwangju, Korea). Since that historic moment, Rep. Evans and later Rep. Honda have tenaciously re-introduced similar resolutions. After six years, H. Res. 121’s passage brings the former comfort women one step closer to justice.
About Comfort Women: During WWII, 300,000 women and girls were systematically raped and tortured by the Japanese military. 80% of the women were from Korea. Only 25% are estimated to have survived. Those who lived were often unable to return home out of shame and have lived a life of severe mental and physical trauma. For decades now former comfort women have shared spoken out demanding justice. But despite growing international pressure, Japan has refused to acknowledge its moral and legal responsibility, even omitting facts about wartime atrocities, including sexual slavery, from school textbooks.