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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Conservatives want U.S. reps to kill apology motion


Staff writer

More than 220 conservative politicians, scholars and journalists Friday were set to send out letters to members of the U.S. House of Representatives over the weekend, asking them to drop a resolution on the "comfort women" currently before them.

The group's letter, which was also delivered Friday to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer, calls for dropping the resolution submitted by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The resolution urges Japan to formally apologize for forcing women into sexual slavery during the war.

The letter claims the sexual services provided to Imperial Japanese soldiers in the 1930s and 1940s were run as businesses for profit by nonmilitary groups that employed "professional prostitutes," and was the same situation as with other militaries around the world. It says there were no sex slaves.

"This is not a matter of ideology. What we want is for them to look again at the truth of the issue because (the resolution) is based on something that is not true," Satoru Mizushima, a movie director who signed the letter on behalf of the group, told reporters.

If we don't protest "we have no excuse for our ancestors or our descendants. We are not such nationals who would do such a thing," Mizushima said.

The letter, backed by four conservative groups on the comfort women issue that have a combined membership of 223 Diet members, local assembly members, academics and journalists, said they were shocked and overwhelmed with anger and sadness that the majority of the House committee supported the resolution, which they claim was based on totally wrong historical facts.

"We strongly require the honorable Congress members of the United States to conduct historical validations of the misunderstood comfort women issue, on honor and pride of the United States," the letter says in English. "It will surely be clarified that sex slaves did not exist by rigorous and thorough investigations. . . . We strongly request to the honorable Congress members of the United States, as Japanese nationals who respect our pride and honor and as your alliance partner who can share the same value of democracy and freedom."

The House is expected to pass the resolution by month's end.



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