Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The petition to support Comfort Women House Resolution 121 is two weeks old and 800 signatures strong. Though it began as a United States petition to House Speaker Pelosi, we have received global support from citizens in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, Singapore, Austria, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan. If you go online you can read comments written by our international community, expressing concern, outrage, apologies, compassion, and testimonies from survivors of WWII comfort stations. It is turning into an amazing international document of support.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Abe said, “I express my sympathy toward the comfort women and apologize for the situation they found themselves in.” While this sounds like an apology, Prime Minister Abe is not taking responsibility for Japan’s Imperial Army’s action under the direction of the Japanese government. He is not apologizing for these war crimes. His statement falls short of a sincere apology.
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has decided not to take action on the Comfort Women issue until after Prime Minister Abe’s U.S. visit April 26-27. This gives the petition one month to grow and to truly support House Resolution 121. If it passes, Congress will ask Japan to take full responsibility for the systematic rape and enslavement of the 200,000 women and girls during WWII.
More importantly, the petition itself sends a strong message to surviving Comfort Women. It honors and respects their experiences and demonstrates to them that the global community hears them and believes them. Their experiences are a part of history.
I urge you to send the petition around. Continue to post the link on your blogs, continue to send out email blasts and to announce the petition to your friends, your colleagues and your family members. After all, this is about our women. This about how we choose to treat one another. Let’s aim for 1000 signatures at the very least. Let’s see if we can find 200,000 signatures for each of the women who suffered during WWII.
I thank you for signing and spreading the word. To sign the petition go directly to http://www.gopetition.com/online/11466.html.
M. Evelina Galang