Pelosi Statement on Historic ‘Comfort Women’ Agreement Between South Korea and Japan

Dec 28, 2015
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill/Evangeline George, 202-226-7616

San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement today following the agreement between South Korea and Japan that accepts the latter government's formal acknowledgment and apology for the Imperial Armed Forces' coercion of young women, known as 'comfort women', into sexual slavery during Japan's occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands during the World War II era:

“Today, so-called ‘comfort women’ who lived in terror during the Second World War have finally received the apology they have demanded for decades.  This historic agreement between South Korea and Japan represents a victory for the survivors and a victory for global human rights.  By formally acknowledging and apologizing for this World War II-era atrocity, Japan atones for its past and asserts that human dignity and liberty are universal human rights. 

“May the hundreds of thousands of women forced by the Japanese Imperial Army into sexual slavery know that the world will forever remember their courage and determination to win justice.  For the women who survive, may this agreement bring peace.  For the South Korean and Japanese people, may this agreement signal the start of a new era of brotherhood.  Following years of international efforts, including the ‘Comfort Women’ Resolution passed by the House in 2007, the global community applauds this agreement.

“As we work together with our allies to transform a painful past into a brighter future, we commend the determined, bold leadership of South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  This agreement brings honor to both the South Korean and Japanese people – and hope for a better, more harmonious future.”

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