Rep. Mike Honda rebuts Prime Minister Abe… Kind of
Representative Mike Honda, the congressman of Japanese ancestry sponsoring the resolution to condemn the current Japanese government for the WW2 comfort women controversy
Representative Mike Honda must be reading the mistranslated misquote of Prime Minister Abe’s comment about the definition of coercion. From the Japan Times -
A U.S. lawmaker spearheading legislation urging the Japanese government to “officially” apologize for pressing women into wartime sexual slavery cited an “overwhelming historical record” of the practice, following reported remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe disputing that such evidence of coercion exists.
Speaking to reporters Thursday in Tokyo, Abe reiterated his position that there is no evidence to prove that the Japanese government used coercion to have women work at frontline brothels for the Japanese military during the war.
Following Abe’s remarks, Rep. Mike Honda, a California Democrat, said in a statement that “the overwhelming historical record . . . (makes) it clear that the Japanese Imperial Army forced as many as 200,000 women into sexual slavery during the Second World War.”
Honda urged Tokyo to offer an “official” apology for what he called “undeniable past wrongs.”
Honda, along with a group of powerful House Republicans, is sponsoring legislation calling on Abe to offer an official apology to former victims of sexual slavery. Prospects are high that the legislation will clear the Democratic-controlled Congress after four similar bills failed to come to a full lower chamber vote in past years under the Republican majority.
The resolution has drawn sharp protest from Japan, both in Tokyo and Washington, with Foreign Minister Taro Aso calling the legislation “extremely regrettable and definitely not based on facts.”
In his statement, Honda also cited the 1993 statement of apology, issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, as evidence of Japan’s admitted culpability in the comfort women practice.
If someone out there thinks that pointing out that Prime Minister Abe was a victim of mistranslation or misquotation is unimportant or obscurantism, then you need only look at the final paragraph to see that it is very important. Representative Mike Honda is functioning under the delusion that Prime Minister Abe said that no women were forced to be comfort women. As I explained clearly in my post about the misquote, Prime Minister Abe was talking about the definition of coercion in the Kono statement on comfort women. For Representative Mike Honda to then cite that very statement in rebuttal is an almost hilarious (but not funny because of the seriousness of the issue) international misunderstanding.