The Korea Herald


Three U.S. lawmakers urge Kerry to address 'comfort women' issue

By 최희석

Published : Jan. 30, 2014 - 10:03

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WASHINGTON (Yonhap) – Riding on a legislative document on Korean and other Asian women forced to serve in sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II, three U.S. congressmen sent a letter Wednesday to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to address the issue.

They are Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The lawmakers said the letter is aimed at bringing the secretary's attention to the historic document attached to a spending bill for fiscal year 2014. President Barack Obama signed it into law on Jan. 17.

The document, albeit nonbinding, calls for Kerry to encourage the Japanese government to deliver an apology for the sexual enslavement.

The congressmen noted it is estimated that more than 200,000 women and girls throughout Asia were forced into sexual slavery. Those females -- some as young as 14 -- are euphemistically called "comfort women."

"The Imperial Armed Forces often lured innocent women from their homes under false pretenses, and even resorted to kidnapping, to serve as forced prostitutes serving the Japanese military," they said in the letter.

The victims "deserve to hear a formal apology" from the Japanese government, they added.

All three congressmen represent districts where memorials to comfort women are located.