Quixotic Rep. Michael Makoto Honda (D-San Jose) isn’t a big player on Capitol Hill. In fact, the three-term Democrat’s legislative record is nearly nonexistent. But his resolution condemning Japan for its wartime use of sex slaves, passed yesterday by the House Foreign Relations Committee, has catapulted him into the headlines again.

Asian America has rallied behind the unlikely crusader almost without exception, that is, except for the Japanese American community whose leaders say a deterioration of U.S.-Japan relations could adversely affect them.

The Japanese government steadfastly opposed the Japanese American campaign to win redress and reparations from the U.S. government for their imprisonment in concentration camps during World War II. So, now, presented with another WWII atrocity, why is the Japanese American community siding with Japan?

No less a figure than the revered Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye has spoken out against Rep. Honda’s “comfort women” resolution. Joining Inouye and other Honda critics has been former congressman and Bush-43 secretary of transportation Norman Y. Mineta, once an ally of the Japanese American lawmaker. The community’s usually high-profile Japanese American Citizens League has been conspicuously silent on the issue.



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