This bill has been amended

Bill S6599-2013

Requires certain text-books to reference the Sea of Japan as also the East Sea and include information on "comfort women"

Requires all text-books approved by this article to reference the Sea of Japan as also the East Sea.

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  • Feb 11, 2014: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6599

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to requiring certain text-books to reference the Sea of Japan as also the East Sea and to include information on "comfort women"

PURPOSE OF THE BILL:

To facilitate the teaching of an unbiased and factual account of events that occurred during World War II involving the Comfort Women and to reference that the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends the education law by adding two new sections 706 and 707 which require that any text-book approved and issued pursuant to section seven hundred one of this article which refers to the Sea of Japan shall note that it is also referred to as the East Sea and also include historical information regarding the "comfort women". The term "comfort women" shall collectively refer to the acquisition of thousands of women by the government of japan for the sole purpose of sexual servitude for the Imperial Japanese army during World War II.

Section 2 sets an immediate effective date and shall apply to any text-books issued on and after July 1, 2019.

JUSTIFICATION:

The purpose of this legislation is to facilitate the teaching of an unbiased and factual account of events that occurred during World War II involving the "Comfort Women" and an acknowledgement that the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea.

These two separate issues recognize important historical facts to many members of the Korean community in New York state and throughout the United States, therefore it is important to ensure these are accurately reflected in the text books used to teach our students.

During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army forced thousands of women to prostitute themselves for the benefit of the Emperor's troops in Korea and other nations. There have been recent efforts to deny the existence of this atrocity and to blame it on alleged "racial conflicts" and efforts to harass the people of Japan. These attempts to deny or minimize these historic events make it necessary to provide an unbiased and factual account of these issues to our students. It is also important to make sure this history is taught in light of the increasing amount of sex trafficking that is happening within the United States as well as throughout the world. We cannot allow the history of the "Comfort Women" to be ignored and we must shed light on this continuing victimization of women and men that has a long and torturous legacy dating many thousands of years.

This bill will also facilitate an understanding that the body of water that separates the Korean Peninsula and Japan should be known as the "East Sea" as well as the "Sea of Japan". While the name "Sea of Japan" was introduced sometime during the late 1920's during a time

when Japan occupied Korea, both Korea and China have referred to this same body of water as the "East Sea" for well over 2000 years. In addition, there are dozens of world maps predating the 19th century that refer to this body of water as the "East Sea".

Moreover, two separate international resolutions have established the standards of naming a sea area that is shared by multiple countries. The International Hydrographic Organization Technical Resolution A.4.2.6 (adopted on March 13, 1974) provided that when countries sharing a given geographical feature do not agree on a common name, the names used by each of the countries should be used concurrently. This standard is confirmed by the United Nations Resolution on Geographical Names 111/20 (adopted in 1977), which further stated that accepting only one or some of such names while excluding the rest would be inconsistent in principle as well as inexpedient in practice. Furthermore, the internationally established custom indicates that seas bordering different countries should not be named after one particular nation. Therefore acknowledging the dual reference of the "Sea of Japan" and the "East Sea" would be in full compliance with this international principle.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any text-books issued on and after July 1, 2014.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6599 IN SENATE February 11, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to requiring certain text-books to reference the Sea of Japan as also the East Sea and to include information on "comfort women" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The education law is amended by adding two new sections 706 and 707 to read as follows: S 706. REFERENCE TO SEA OF JAPAN. ANY TEXT-BOOK APPROVED AND ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED ONE OF THIS ARTICLE WHICH REFERS TO THE SEA OF JAPAN SHALL NOTE THAT IT IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE EAST SEA. S 707. COMFORT WOMEN. ANY TEXT-BOOK APPROVED AND ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED ONE OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL INCLUDE HISTORICAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE "COMFORT WOMEN". SUCH TERM COLLECTIVELY REFERS TO THE ACQUISITION OF THOUSANDS OF WOMEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF SEXUAL SERVITUDE FOR THE IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY DURING WORLD WAR II. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any text-books issued on and after July 1, 2014.

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