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Email dated 28 March 2007 to Canadian MPs from Canada ALPHA

 

 

From: B.C. ALPHA [mailto:bcalpha@alpha-canada.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 7:53 PM
To: All Canadian MPs

Subject: URGENT - Motion-291 tabled by The Hon. Olivia Chow (Email to all MPs)

 

Dear Honorable Members of the Parliament,

 

I refer to the letter dated March 12, 2007 to the Right Honorable Prime Minister Stephen Harper and c.c. to all MPs including your goodself from our other Co-chair Dr. Joseph Wong as attached.

 

We are glad that Motion regarding urging Japan to pass an apology and compensation resolution in its Parliament was passed at the meeting of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights held on March 27, 2007 and will be deliberated by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development before it is to be put on the agenda in the House of Commons. 

 

We would like to draw your attention that it is to be willfully blind or in lack of information to view the recent comment by Abe as “an apology” in any sense.  Instead, his latest comment on March 26th to the Japanese Parliament (Diet) is just a restatement of his comment made on March 1st saying “there was no evidence of coercion by Japan's wartime government in using women across Asia as sex slaves”.  His latest statement in the Diet reads that he is sorry for the “situation that they (‘comfort women’) found themselves in”.   The passive voice used in the sentence is a deliberate linguistic device to evade stating how or why the women “found themselves” to be enslaved.  Mr. Abe evaded to acknowledge the responsibility of the Japanese military nor that of the government for the military sexual slavery system.  Neither did he withdraw his earlier decision to cooperate with over 120 Japanese MPs, led by former education minister Nariaki Nakayama, to conduct investigation by the Parliament to find evidence aiming to overturn the 1993 Kono Statement. 

 

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso told our Hon. Foreign Minister Peter MacKay that Japan would stand by its 1993 Kono Statement which acknowledged Japanese military involvement in sex slavery.  Unfortunately, Japan has never officially apologized as the Kono Statement was not approved by the Diet.  So we are witnessing Japanese officials and politicians continuously making statements of denials including Japanese PM Abe.  That is why survivors have rejected the Japanese government’s so-called “apology” statements even before Mr. Abe came along.  Mr. Abe has simply made it easier for the world to understand the underlying deceit of those “apology” statements this time.  The international media including New York Times and The Guardian thus have criticized Japan’s repeated denials in response to Abe’s purported “apology” made on March 26, 2007.  (Please refer to the attached news articles for reference.)

 

Until an apology & compensation resolution is to be passed in the Japanese Diet and public denial of Japanese atrocities committed during WWII is criminalized – as what Germany has been doing to Nazi Holocaust deniers, all these Japanese politicians’ or government official’s “apologies” are just deceptive rhetoric to fool the world.

 

As Canadians, we take pride in our government taking a stand against injustice and human rights abuses anywhere in the world, voicing our disapproval and condemnation on events that contradict our Canadian values. Thus, we appeal to all of you to support Motion-291 tabled by MP Hon. Olivia Chow to be passed in the House of Commons.

Thekla Lit
Co-Founder & Co-chair of Canada ALPHA (Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia)
archive.alpha-canada.org