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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

8 Japanese Municipalities Have Submitted Position Statements on the "Comfort Women" Issue

As of July 1, 2009, a total of eight municipalities in Japan have submitted a position statement on the wartime military sex slavery issue to the central government.

These eight cities are:

Takarazuka City, Hyogo
Kiyose City, Tokyo
Sapporo City, Hokkaido
Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
Mitaka City, Tokyo
Mino-o City, Osaka
Koganei City, Tokyo
Kyo-tanabe City, Kyoto

As an example, here is the translation of Mino-o City's position statement.


Bill submitted by members of City Council Member No. 13

Position Statement Requesting sincere handling of the "Comfort Women" issue by the Japanese Government

It has been 64 years since Japan caused massive suffering to neighbouring countries in the war. To date the wounds of the victims of war have not been healed.

The U.S. Congress, in July 2007, has passed "the resolution that demands the Japanese Government to officially admit and apologize for the fact that the Japanese military coerced women into sex slaves."

Subsequently, similar resolutions passed the parliaments of Netherlands,Canada, and EU, and international organizations like the United Nation shave issued recommendations for swift resolution of the matter. Back in1993, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kohno announced a statement which reads, "We would like to convey our apology and repentance. We should further seriously discuss how and in what form our country can express these feelings". There has been, however, no progress since then.

We, therefore, request that the Japanese Government investigate the truths of the "Comfort Women" issue, pay efforts to recover the dignity of the victims, and deal with this matter sincerely so that it does not contradict Kohno Statement. Here we submit this position statement in accordance with the Article 99 of Local Government Law.

June 22, 2009

City Council of Mino-o


I wanted to share these positive moves bravely taken by cities of Japan, and I hope the list will be longer. Cities are often more progressive than states. One great example is Mayors for Peace, a network of 2,963 cities in 134 countries that are together working for abolition of nuclear weapons. Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima City, which initiated the organization with Nagasaki City, argue that cities are directly accountable for the safety of their citizens while states get away with lying to people.

Cities don't draft people away to war and and kill them. States do. The world is a collective body of cities, towns, villages and other territories. Yet we tend to look at the world as a collection of states more often than otherwise. We can change this mindset. Some people think it is worthwhile dying for one's country, but would one die for a city? Maybe not. Why can't one die for a city while one can die for a state? The only explanation I can give is that states propagate to its people how wonderful it is to die for them.

Way to go for those cities who stand up and go out of their way (their cities) for a peaceful world!


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