U.S. Representative Ed Royce, who chairs the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, on Friday visited a statue in Glendale, California honoring women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army.
Royce called for the atrocities Japan committed during World War II to be taught in schools.
The 1,100-pound bronze statue was the first of its kind outside of Korea and the result of two years of efforts by Korean Americans in California. Royce was the first federal lawmaker to visit the statue. His position as head of the Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to add pressure on the rightwing Japanese government, which is trying to squirm out of responsibility.
Royce also knelt before an altar honoring former sex slave Hwang Kum-ja, who died recently.