MPs supporting Motion-291
NDP fights for Japanese comfort women
Tue 27 Mar 2007 | Press Release By NDP
MPs push for formal apology and compensation from Japanese PM
OTTAWA – The Harper government should take a stand on human rights and denounce the Japanese prime minister’s attempt to deny the forced prostitution endured by South Korean, Chinese and Filipino women during the Second World War. NDP MPs Wayne Marston and Dawn Black are calling on Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay to act in accordance with the principles of human rights that ordinary Canadians believe in.
“Prime Minister Abe must be pressured to formally apologize and to institute a program to compensate the estimated 50,000 to 200,000 women who were forced to serve in military brothels during WWII,” said NDP Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston (Hamilton East – Stoney Creek).
“I was pleased that my motion at the sub-committee on International Human Rights requesting our government urge the Japanese government to formally apologize and compensate comfort women passed.”
In the past, individuals and corporations in Japan have stepped forward to offer compensation through the Asian Women’s Fund (AWF). Only 285 of thousands of comfort women were able to apply before the AWF ended in 2005. The Japanese government has recognized these war crimes in the past, but no formal apology or redress has been delivered.
“Crimes against women are a terrible consequence of war and must be treated as crimes against humanity,” said NDP Defence Critic Dawn Black. (New Westminster-Coquitlam). “Forced slavery was a degradation of women and a degradation of other cultures. The women who suffered deserve acknowledgement and compensation.”
“History denied is justice denied, and Prime Minister Abe’s apology in parliament on Monday is only the first step in what must be a formal acknowledgement of the injustices suffered by these women,” said Dawn Black. “The Canadian government finally acted to apologize for the Chinese head tax last year. Now we should use our influence in the world to right the historic wrong done to Asian women during the last world war.”
The Office of the Hon. Raymond Chan, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Richmond
Date: March 6, 2007
For Release: Immediate
Statement by the Honourable Raymond Chan, Official Opposition Critic on Foreign Affairs (Asia Pacific) on the Japanese Prime Minister’s Denial of Wartime Military Brothels
Richmond - It is a shock that the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has publicly stated that Japan will not apologize for its Second World War military brothels.
It is very unfortunate that Prime Minister Abe has chosen to overshadow Japan’s 1993 apology and admission of wrongdoing by denying the fact that Chinese and Korean women were forced to serve as prostitutes. The existence of these injustices has been substantiated by documents, archives and testimonies by the surviving sex slaves and former Japanese soldiers and is irrefutable. Even the former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has apologized and expressed his sincere remorse over the ‘comfort women’s’ “immeasurable and painful experiences.”
I urge the Japanese Prime Minister to acknowledge the historical injustices and to begin the process of healing. It is only through the process of acknowledgement that reconciliation can be achieved and harmony established between the victims and the past wrongdoings.
I call upon the Japanese government to build an understanding with its neighbors, to acknowledge the historical injustices and to not escalate this situation by denying the past.
For more information please contact:
Office of Hon. Raymond Chan, P.C., M.P.
Richmond, British Columbia
Wilfert Supports “Comfort Women” Motion
March 28, 2007
The Honourable Bryon Wilfert, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill today announced that he will support M-291 when it is up for debate in the House of Commons.
The motion before the House of Commons states: M-291 - That, in the opinion of the House, the government should urge the Prime Minister and the Parliament of Japan to: (a) pass a resolution in the Diet to formally apologize to the women who were coerced into military sexual slavery during the Second World War and were euphemized as "comfort women" by the Japanese Imperial Army; and (b) provide just and honourable compensation to these victims.
The euphemism "comfort women" was coined by Imperial Japan to refer to young females of various ethnic and national backgrounds and social circumstances who were forced to have sex with the Japanese troops before and during the Second World War. Some were minors sold into brothels; others were deceptively recruited by middlemen; still others were forcibly abducted, others were gang raped.
"I support this Motion that was presented before the House of Commons and I will encourage the Federal Government of Canada to urge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Parliament of Japan to make a formal apology and compensation to these tragic victims," said Mr. Wilfert.
It is important that one not forget these women, this horrible chapter of history, and these long time forgotten human tragedies and atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII.
For More Information
Ashley Mac Isaac
Executive Assistant to:
Honourable Bryon Wilfert, P.C., M.P.