Regarding the Feb. 16 article “Former ‘comfort women’ tell Congress of ordeal”: It is absolutely amazing that the “comfort women” issue is still being reported on in 2007. Then again, perhaps not — when a Japan Times article runs comments such as: “Japan reckons its leaders have repeatedly apologized.”

“Reckon,” a word no one outside of cowboy movies uses, means “think” or “suppose,” according to Merriam-Webster. Based on this definition, Japan isn’t sure or convinced about its apologies. Also, articles of this nature in The Japan Times always report that compensation claims were “settled by postwar treaties.” What does that mean exactly? Who received the money? How was it divided? If the compensation claims were “settled,” then why are these women now asking U.S. lawmakers to help them?

It seems this tragic tale from Japan’s past will not die until it is dealt with properly. But, most likely, when the few remaining comfort women finally pass on, Japan will “reckon” that the door can be closed and locked on this ugly episode once and for all.

david chester

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