Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Guardian State

Yesterday, New Jersey lost its favorite Soprano, but voiced very loud and clear its support for the women and girls forced into sexual slavery for Imperial Japan's military, passing univocally* a resolution where the Japanese government is called upon to take the most vital steps: to "accept historical responsibility" and to "educate future generations about these crimes". 

Note that the Japanese government is also charged for using an expression that edulcorates the appalling truth of sexual slavery. Again, the "comfort women" expression is deliberate propaganda to prevent the Japanese people from learning the horrors carried out under Imperial rule, a way of prolonging the ordeal of the victims and negating the crimes. I was not surprised to learn today, in a Chosun Ilbo article** about a small museum in Tokyo struggling to survive and to raise awareness about sexual slavery under Imperial Japan rule, that many visitors thought that the expression "comfort women" referred to some kind of nurses.


SENATE HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND SENIOR CITIZENS COMMITTEE
STATEMENT TO [First Reprint]
ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 159
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: JUNE 3, 2013
 
The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee reports favorably Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 159 (1R).
This concurrent resolution commemorates and supports comfort women in their fight for proper acknowledgement by the Japanese government of the suffering they endured during their forced internment in military comfort stations and calls upon the Japanese government to accept historical responsibility for the sexual enslavement of comfort women by the Imperial Japanese military and educate future generations about these crimes.
The term “comfort women” is a euphemism used by the Japanese government to describe women forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese military between 1932 and 1945.
As reported, this resolution is identical to Senate Concurrent Resolution No.124 SCA (Weinberg), which the committee also reported favorably on this date.


After New York and California, the Garden State is the third US State to pass a resolution, confirming a strong record in support of the cause***.

But I still long for the moment when the Japanese people will be the one demanding its own government do the right thing. At long last.


*

See also:


 
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 * all 40 members of the Senate, and 76 of the 80 members of the assembly voted for it (no votes against, no abstentions, 4 simply didn't vote)
** "도쿄 한복판에 위안부 전시실… 시민 "위안소 존재 알고 충격""
*** see "Silver lining, darker clouds", "We reject as false the choice between revisionism and nationalism - for a Global Truth and Reconciliation Network"

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