U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, the most senior female member on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Armed Services Committee, has warned that, if historical conflicts in East Asia centering on Japan's war-time military sex slavery aren't settled quickly, it could disrupt the Obama administration's Asia "rebalancing" strategy.
Sanchez made the remarks Thursday during a session of the House Armed Services Committee, according to a report by Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency, quoting diplomatic sources in Washington.
The congresswoman said the sex slave issue has an inseparable relation to the U.S. government's Asia "rebalancing" strategy, which aims to strengthen political, economic and security ties with Asian countries.
She went on to say historic conflicts could weaken trilateral relations and the military alliance between the U.S., Korea, and Japan.
She also stated that insensitive remarks by Japanese politicians hinder economic, political and military cooperation among the three countries.
Some prominent Japanese officials have claimed that military sex slaves were necessary, or that the victims were not forced into the slavery,but were prostitutes.
She added President Obama's recent remarks that Japan's wartime program of sexual slavery was a terrible violation of human rights, should be understood in the context of trilateral cooperation.
Visiting Korea late last month,the U.S. leader criticized Japan's wartime program of sex slavery,.. saying it was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights, and the past is something that has to be recognized honestly.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.