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AJR-27 War crimes: Japanese military during World War II.(1999-2000)

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Assembly Joint Resolution No. 27
CHAPTER 90

Relative to the war crimes committed by the Japanese military during World War II.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  August 26, 1999. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 27, Honda. War crimes: Japanese military during World War II.
This measure would urge the Government of Japan to finally bring closure to concerns relating to World War II by formally issuing a clear and unambiguous apology for the atrocious war crimes committed by the Japanese military during World War II and immediately paying reparations to the victims of those crimes. This measure would also call upon the United States Congress to adopt a similar resolution and would urge the President of the United States to take all appropriate action to bring about a formal apology and reparations by the Government of Japan.

WHEREAS, Our nation is founded on democratic principles that recognize the vigilance with which fundamental individual human rights must be safeguarded in order to preserve freedom; and
WHEREAS, This resolution condemns all violations of the international law designed to safeguard fundamental human rights as embodied in the Geneva and Hague Conventions; and
WHEREAS, This resolution vociferously condemns all crimes against humanity and at the same time condemns the actions of those who would use this resolution to further an agenda that fosters anti-Asian sentiment and racism, or Japan “bashing,” or otherwise fails to distinguish between Japan’s war criminals and Americans of Japanese ancestry; and
WHEREAS, Since the end of World War II, Japan has earned its place as an equal in the society of nations, yet the Government of Japan has failed to fully acknowledge the crimes committed during World War II and to provide reparations to the victims of those crimes; and
WHEREAS, While high ranking Japanese government officials have expressed personal apologies, supported the payment of privately funded reparations to some victims, and modified some textbooks, these efforts are not adequate substitutes for an apology and reparations approved by the Government of Japan; and
WHEREAS, The need for an apology sanctioned by the Government of Japan is underscored by the contradictory statements and actions of Japanese government officials and leaders of a “revisionist” movement who openly deny that war crimes took place, defend the actions of the Japanese military, seek to remove the modest language included in textbooks, and refuse to cooperate with United States Department of Justice efforts to identify Japanese war criminals; and
WHEREAS, During World War II, 33,587 United States military and 13,966 civilian prisoners of the Japanese military were confined in inhumane prison camps where they were subjected to forced labor and died unmentionable deaths; and
WHEREAS, The Japanese military invaded Nanking, China, from December 1937 until February 1938, during the period known as the “Rape of Nanking,” and brutally slaughtered, in ways that defy description, by some accounts as many as 300,000 Chinese men, women, and children and raped more than 20,000 women, adding to a death toll that may have exceeded millions of Chinese; and
WHEREAS, The people of Guam and the Marshall Islands, during the Japanese occupation from 1941–1944, were subjected to unmentionable acts of violence, including forced labor and marches, and imprisonment by the Japanese military during its occupation of these islands; and
WHEREAS, Three-fourths of the population in Port Blair on Andaman Islands, India, were exterminated by Japanese troops between March 1942 and the end of World War II; many were tortured to death or forced into sexual slavery at “comfort stations,” and crimes beyond description were committed on families and young children; and
WHEREAS, At the February 1945 “Battle of Manila,” 100,000 men, women, and children were killed by Japanese armed forces in inhumane ways, adding to a total death toll that may have exceeded one million Filipinos during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, which began in December 1941 and ended in August 1945; and
WHEREAS, At least 260 of the 1,500 United States prisoners, including many Californians, believed to have been held at Mukden, Manchuria, died during the first winter of their imprisonment and many of the 300 living survivors of Mukden claim to suffer from physical ailments resulting from their subjection to Japanese military chemical and biological experiments; and
WHEREAS, The Japanese military enslaved millions of Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, and citizens from other occupied or colonized territories during World War II, and forced hundreds of thousands of women into sexual slavery for Japanese troops; and
WHEREAS, The International Commission of Jurists, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Geneva, Switzerland, ruled in 1993 that the Government of Japan should pay reparations of at least $40,000 for the “extreme pain and suffering” caused to each woman who was forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military (referred by the Japanese military as “comfort women”), yet none of these women have been paid any compensation by the Government of Japan; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature of the State of California urges the Government of Japan to finally bring closure to concerns relating to World War II by doing both of the following:
(1) Formally issuing a clear and unambiguous apology for the atrocious war crimes committed by the Japanese military during World War II.
(2) Immediately paying reparations to the victims of those crimes, including, but not limited to, United States military and civilian prisoners of war, the people of Guam and the Marshall Islands, who were subjected to violence and imprisonment, the survivors of the “Rape of Nanking” from December 1937 until February 1938, and the women who were forced into sexual slavery and known by the Japanese military as “comfort women”; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature of the State of California calls upon the United States Congress to adopt a similar resolution that follows the spirit and letter of this resolution calling on the Government of Japan to issue a formal apology and pay reparations to the victims of its war crimes during World War II; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature of the State of California requests that the President of the United States take all appropriate action to further bring about a formal apology and reparations by the Government of Japan to the victims of its war crimes during World War II; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, the President of the United States, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each California Member of the Senate and the United States House of Representatives.