Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Little bit o' background that you probably already know regarding the Japanese lawmakers' ad in the Wapo.

The ad in the Wapo, title 'The Facts' and issued by a number of Japanese lawmakers is getting a lot of blog space. It seems there are a couple of questions as to why this one done. I have the obvious, probably already known answer. I mention it only because it hasn't been mentioned (that I've seen).

The Facts was in response a full page Wapo add, titled 'The Truth About Comfort Women'. This add was published by a coalition on NGOs, mainly one called 121 and another working on comfort women issues in the US. The add has a contribution from Amnesty International which also sent letter to Bush. Sadly, I can't find a link to the original add. The Truth ad was timed to coincide with the visit from Shinzo Abe and to urge greater support for the resolution in Congress calling for the Japanese government to apologise for the military sexual slavery system during WWII. I would take a guess and say that given the rising support to the resolution prior to The Facts ad that it was an attempt to stymie progress on the resolution. Although, I think we can find evidence of the ad having a reverse effect. Last I heard the resolution looks set to be passed by a comfortable majority.

North Koreans Testify in UK
Yesterday two North Koreans, Ahn Myeong Cheol and Shin Dong Hyok testifed at Westminster in a public hearing. This was a moving experience, especially when it came to the the quiet and rather haunted looking Mr. Shin. The event was also joined with the launch of
Christian Solidarity Worldwide's new report: "North Korea: A case to answer - a call to act". Ahn Myeong Cheol in particular urged strongly for the international community to be doing more to save the lives of those suffering in North Korea.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui