NEW YORK – New York lawmakers have introduced resolutions to both houses of the state legislature calling on the Japanese government to apologize for having “coerced into the comfort women system” women and girls who served as sex slaves for the wartime Japanese military, according to a legislator and a staff member of another legislator.
The resolution uses Japan’s comfort women euphemism and describes the issue as “one of the largest cases of human-trafficking in the 20th century” and encourages “the Japanese government to accept historical responsibility and educate future generations about these crimes.”
It also backs a 2007 resolution enacted by the U.S. House of Representatives that calls on the Japanese government to “formally apologize” for the sexual slavery of women and girls across Japanese-occupied Asia.
The resolutions at the two chambers, the Assembly and the Senate, are expected to be merged and put to a vote.
Observers say the resolutions by the New York legislators appear to be a response to a Japanese newspaper advertisement denying that the sexual slavery took place, that was placed by a group of conservative Japanese lawmakers, including Shinzo Abe, who has returned as prime minister.