On July 24, Korean American Civic Empowerment (former Korean American Voters’ Council) conducted the 5th Anniversary of the Comfort Women Resolution (H.Res.121), which was passed on July 30, 2007 at US Capitol Visitor Center.
On this event, Korean American Civic Empowerment’s (KACE) staffs and interns, and Comfort Women survivors (Yong Soo Lee and Bok Dong Kim) from Korea, who proposed the resolution, Congressmen Michael Makoto “Mike” Honda and Al Green, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairman of the United States House Comittee on Foreign Affairs, Bill Pascrell, and many congressmen and woman, California forum, Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, Inc., the Korean American Society of Greater Virginia, and many Korean American origanization leaders from Korea and United States attended this event. Amnesty International staffs also participated in the Comfort Women issue, and it shows that it became a major issue in the United States.
Dongchan Kim (President), Dong Suk Kim (executive director), Esther Lee (Board Chair), Edward Kang, 30 KACE interns, and other staffs departed from New York on this morning, arrived at Washington D.C., and moved along with Kangwon University advisory Board of International Affairs. 5th Anniversary of the Comfort Women Resolution (H.Res.121) Reception was progressed by Politicans and organization leaders and comfort women survivors’ speeches, deliver of a appreciation plaque, and congratulartory performance.
[Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-9th), Congressman Michael Makoto “Mike” Honda, Bok Dong Kim survivors, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Congressman Al Green (TX-9)]
Mike Honda, who proposed the resolution with many congressmen said ‘comfort women’ have to change to ‘sex slavery’, and comfort women issue is not only historical fact, but it has to expand to the international fundamental problem, and women’s human rights, in order to prevent this kind of issue in the futher. Congressman Mike Honda and Eni Faleomavaega said comfort women issue has to reaches next step, which is international agreement. Congressman Mike Honda also said he will try his best to passed this issue through to internatioal affairs by getting more supports from congressmen.
[Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-9th) attended this event, and gave his speech about resolution’s righteousness, righteousness of Comfort Women memorial built in his district, and how nobody can remove the offical memorial.]
[Congressman Eni Faleomavaega is the one who conducted 121 resolution hearing as a director of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. Congressman Faleomavaega announced that by taking weak women and using them as sex slave is clearly a crime. Moreover, Japanese government should not only apologize, but also should be punished. Also he stated this issue has to be passed through the United Nation.]
[Joe Baca, Congressman of 43rd district in California, having a conversation with survivor.]
On this day, Comfort Women survivors, Yong Soo Lee and Bok Dong Lee came from Korea and attended this event, and they testified their pitiable condition and requested Japanese government’s apology and indemnity. They emphasised, “Without the apology from the Japanese government, humanity problems against the world will never be solved” and they requested to the United States to be more involved in order to get an apology from the Japanese government.
[Mrs. Yeun participated in H.Res.121 as representative of Chinese American Organization.]
[Amnesty International Director Kumar mentioned that human traffic is an international problem, and efforts from many countries are needed to eliminate human traffic in the world.]
Along with these, KACE interns were given a brief explanation about the meaning of the 5th anniversary event. On this day, the executive director, Dong Suk Kim of KACE received an appreciation plaque from Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairman of the United States House Comittee on Foreign Affairs, and Washington Bible College professor, Ok-Cha Soh (Washington representative during the promotion of resolution) received special certificate from Congressman Mike Honda, and other people who participated a lot on the resolution for Comfort Women issue were also received an appreciation plaque.
[Multi-ethnic choir led by Soyoung Lee and Survivor Yong Soo Lee sang “Hymn of Seoul”.]
For the congratulatory performance, artists from different nations, public school teacher, Soyoung Lee, and KACE interns performed. Especially, survivors Young Soo Lee and Bok Dong Kim grandmothers held their hands together and sang “Su Seon Hwa” which touched audiences’ heart.
Also on this event, Multi-ethnic choir led by Soyoung Lee were wearing their traditional clothes and were singing their country’s songs. Also politicans who attended this event were dancing with the survivors and were singing “God Bless America” with KACE interns and all of people who attended this event.
The following link is to an article covering this event.