Dongsuk Kim President of KACE, Congressman Mike Honda, and Jungsil Lee President of the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues

Dongsuk Kim President of KACE, Congressman Mike Honda, and Jungsil Lee President of the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues

On March 18th, KACE visited Washington D.C. in order to pursue its grassroots lobbying activities. In preparation for impending speech by Japanese Prime Minster Abe to joint session in Congress, KACE helped sponsor a full-page advertisement in the Wednesday edition of the Hill, a Washington-based newspaper specializing in congressional topics, and held a press conference regarding it. The advertisement was made feasible by the generous donations from many Korean-American groups and citizens across the nation.

A full-page advertisement that was posted on the Hill on March 18th

A full-page advertisement that was posted on the Hill on March 18th

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17) and Jungsil Lee (President of the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues) also joined the press conference. With determination, Congressman Mike Honda strongly emphasized that although PM Abe is welcome to visit the United States as an ally and has a right to visit anyone, he should not take advantage of the privilege to come before the joint session of Congress without giving a formal, unambiguous apology for Japan’s war crimes and his dangerous, revisionist view of the past.

After a month of petition campaign that demands PM Abe to meet prior conditions before he delivers his speech to the joint session of Congress, more than 6,000 signatures from across the country have been accumulated, and this petition drive has succeeded in raising the awareness of the issue, which was confirmed through grassroots lobbying activities.

KACE staffs visited the offices and delivered the advertisement and other related articles

KACE staffs visited the offices and delivered the advertisement and other related articles

On this day, KACE has visited a total of 53 members of the Congress, including the leaders of both Democratic and Republican parties and members whose districts had a significant Korean American population, and delivered the details of the petition drive, the advertisement that was posted on the Hill, and a few other articles that were relevant to the issue. Through the visits, KACE was able to witness that many Congressmen were already cognizant of the issue through the petition letters and the newspaper.

On behalf of the Korean American Forum (KAF) and many other organizations participating in this petition, KACE would like to ask for more organizations and citizens to join this effort so that we may post another advertisement on prominent, well-established newspapers, such as the Hill. The petition materials that were delivered today can be downloaded from this link, and the links of the attached articles are as follows:

 

NY Times: “The Comfort Women and Japan’s War on Truth” by Mindy Kotler

The Hill: “Time for Japan to Apologize” by former Delegate Eni F. H. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa)

National Interest: “U.S. Should Be Appalled by Japan’s Historical Revisionism” by Dennis Halpin

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