Supporters of Honda's nonbinding resolution want an apology similar to the one the U.S. government gave to Japanese-Americans, including Honda as a child, forced into internment camps during World War II. That apology was approved by the Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
U.S. lawmaker calls for investigation of post-WWII brothels for U.S. troops in Japan
The Associated PressPublished: May 3, 2007
WASHINGTON: A U.S. lawmaker said Thursday he wants a closer look at reports that American authorities allowed the operation of an official brothel system for GIs occupying Japan in the aftermath of World War II.
Democratic Rep. Mike Honda, sponsor of a resolution urging Japan to apologize formally for coercing thousands of Asian women into sexual slavery as the Imperial Japanese during the war, said he has asked the Congressional Research Service to look into allegations of brothels set up for American soldiers after Japan's surrender in 1945.
Honda rejected comparisons between the actions of the Japanese during the war and the U.S. occupation forces. He said the Japanese comfort women system was set up and sanctioned by the Japanese government and armed forces.
"It's different," he said. "This is the military of the imperial government, the imperial military's policy, in capturing, coercing and kidnapping girls and women for the purpose of sexual slavery."
Honda said it was important to find out what role the U.S. military played in the postwar system.
An Associated Press review of historical documents and records shows that American authorities permitted an official brothel system to operate despite internal reports that women were being coerced into prostitution.
Tens of thousands of women were employed to provide cheap sex to American troops until the spring of 1946, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur shut down the system, documents show.
There is no clear evidence that non- Japanese comfort women were imported to Japan as part of the program.
Supporters of Honda's nonbinding resolution want an apology similar to the one the U.S. government gave to Japanese-
Americans, including Honda as a child, forced into internment camps during World War II. That apology was approved by the Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Associated Press writer Foster Klug contributed to this report.