Politicians in New York from both houses have introduced new state legislature that calls on Japan to apologize for its use of “comfort women,” or the forcing of women to serve as sexual slaves, prior to and during the World War II occupation of Korea and parts of China. This is according to two legislator staff members.
The proposed resolutions call the Japanese Imperial Army’s coercion of young women into sexual slavery one of the 20th century’s largest incidents of human trafficking. The New York lawmakers also want the Japanese government to take responsibility for its history and make better efforts to educate its future generations about such crimes. Also supported is a 2007 resolution put forth by the U.S. House of Representatives which says that apologies need to be made to the women in occupied Asia who served as slaves.
The two resolutions, one at the Assembly and one at the Senate, will most likely be merged before being put to a vote. It seems these resolutions are in response to the recent newspaper advertisements paid for conservative Japanese lawmakers which deny the use of sexual slavery. Shinzo Abe, the current prime minister, was one of these lawmakers. While such proposals from New York will certainly make many in South Korea and China happy, the U.S. lawmakers don’t seem to make any mention of the various apologies for wartime atrocities Japan has made in the past.