U.S. Representative Mike Honda has sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to pay attention to the women who were forced by Japan during World War II to serve as sex slaves to Japanese troops.
Honda, who is of Japanese extraction and has made questions of Tokyo's wartime atrocities a speciality, said he disagrees with people who believe the Japanese government has apologized enough for the sexual enslavement of women and that the issue has been resolved. "I write today to urge your immediate attention to this important matter," he said.
Honda spearheaded the passage by the U.S. Senate last month of an attachment to the spending bill urging the State Department to do more to make Japan address the matter.
The attachment points to House Resolution 121 of 2007 and "urges the secretary of state to encourage the government of Japan to address the issues raised in the resolution."
Honda is a third generation Japanese-American whose grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Kumamoto, Japan. In his letter, he said 200,000 women were forced into sexual slavery by Japan, and only 55 are still alive in Korea, 26 in the Philippines and around five in Taiwan. He stressed that these victims "don't have time" to persevere.