U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, a Republican from Georgia’s 7th congressional district, is one of 25 signatories to a letter to the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. that encourages Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “lay the foundation for healing and humble reconciliation by addressing the historical issues” when in Washington next week.

Mr. Abe is to speak to a joint session of Congress April 29 providing him with a golden opportunity to further strengthen the strong ties binding the two countries. 

As the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting, he is perfectly placed to underscore growing cooperation on defense and possibly trade.

Although the visit also marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, its substance most likely will look ahead to future relations among not only Japan and the U.S., but Korea as well to ensure peace and prosperity throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

No doubt Mr. Abe is aware that he will be speaking in the same chamber where in July 2007 House Resolution 121 was passed by a voice vote calling for the Japanese government to apologize for the sexual treatment of young Korean women during World War II commonly known as “comfort women.”

An attachment to an appropriations bill last year reaffirmed H. Res. 121 and calls for Secretary of State John Kerry to raise the comfort woman issue during his dialogues with Japanese leaders.

“A strong partnership between the United States, Japan and South Korea is vitally important to the security and economic surds of not only the Asia-Pacific region, but communities throughout the world,” Mr. Woodall says in a statement issued Friday, April 24.

“It’s for this reason that I urge Prime Minister Abe to use his time in Washington as an opportunity to further reconcile out nations’ established history, while laying the groundwork for success moving forward. As we mark the 70th anniversary of World War II this year, it is my hope that Prime Minister Abe will join us in an honest reflection of our past, and importantly, a cooperative look to the future and what we can accomplish together.”

Georgia’s 7th congressional district includes all of Barrow and Walton counties and portions of Forsyth, Gwinnett and Newton counties.

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