In his speech to Congress today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will face pressure to apologize for his nation's role in forcing up to 200,000 women into sexual slavery during World War II.
Abe is not expected to issue a formal apology, but a Democratic congressman from California is turning up the heat.
Rep. Mike Honda plans to bring a Korean "comfort woman" to the speech as his guest. She’s Yong Soo Lee, who was 16 in 1944 when she was forced into slavery.
Honda’s spokesman, Ken Scudder, said Lee is is now 86 and made the trip to Washington from Korea to personally seek an apology.
Honda, who has pressed the issue for years, wrote an op-ed for CNN on Tuesday, saying Lee is just one of the many examples of women who were kidnapped and sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army during the war.
Honda said the women deserve an apology.
"Ms. Lee and her sisters deserve no less," Honda wrote in the op-ed.
Abe will become the first Japanese leader to address a joint session of Congress.
With Japan widely regarded as the last big obstacle for President Barack Obama's plan to expand trade throughout the Pacific Rim, Abe is also under pressure to move quickly to wrap up negotiations on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would create new trade rules for 40 percent of the global economy.
Abe is visiting four U.S. cities this week.