A U.S. Congresswoman in the armed services committee has called on Japan to officially apologize for its sexual enslavement of women during World War II.
Loretta Sanchez, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, said in a meeting that Japan had still not apologized to the victims it caused to suffer more than 70 years. and that their human rights need to be upheld.
Urging her fellow congressmen to support the surviving comfort women, Sanchez called on the Japanese government to uphold a U.S. resolution passed in 2007 that calls on Tokyo to formally acknowledge, apologize and accept its historical responsibility for enslaving women during World War II, and educate future generations of the horrific crimes that were carried out.
Sanchez said earlier this month in a military plenary session that Japan's comfort women issue cannot be dealt separately in the Obama administration's Asia "rebalancing" strategy.
She warned that Japan needed to resolve its long-standing disputes in the region first.
Experts say however Washington is taking a two-track approach towards Japan.
" The U.S. welcomes Japan's push to restore its right to collective self-defense, but at the same time condemns Japan's historical wrongdoings. We can't say whether Washington values human rights issues more than they do security."
Lee added that Washington can always change its stance on the comfort women issue depending on its political interests in East Asia.
Currently less than 100 women of the 200-thousand so-called "comfort women" are alive today.
Meanwhile, a Japanese policy research center published a book in English recently that denies the past enforcement of sexual slavery.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.