U.S. congressmen meet Korean victims of Japan's wartime sex slavery

GWANGJU, South Korea (Yonhap) -- Two U.S. congressmen, who played a leading role in the U.S. House of Representatives approval of a 2007 resolution condemning Japan's sexual enslavement of women during World War II, met with elderly Korean victims on Monday, and urged Japan to do more to resolve the long-standing grievance.

U.S. Representatives Michael Honda and Eni Faleomavaega visited a home for Korean former sex slaves in the city of Gwangju, south of Seoul, on the final day of their five-day trip to South Korea.

Honda and Faleomavaega initiated the resolution that called for Japan to make an "unambiguous apology" for the use of sex slaves, euphemistically called "comfort women."

During the meeting, Faleomavaega said South Korea should set up a bigger "peace monument" than a statue of a teenage Korean girl in traditional costume outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul to press Japan to resolve the women's grievance.

The statue was unveiled last December to mark the 1,000th weekly protest by the elderly victims outside the Japanese embassy, where they demand compensation and an apology for the victims.

According to historians, up to 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were coerced into sexual servitude at front-line Japanese brothels during World War II when the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony.

The issue of former wartime sex slaves is one of the most emotional and unresolved issues between South Korea and Japan.


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