Serving in Congress from 2001 to 2017, Honda won the 2000 Democratic nomination for the 15th District, which had once been represented by Norman Mineta. Due to redistricting after the 2010 US Census, Honda began representing California’s 17th congressional district at the beginning of the 113th Congress on January 3, 2013. The district incorporates Silicon Valley, which is the only Asian American-majority district in the continental United States. He won again in 2014. He lost the election for California’s 17th congressional district election in 2016 to Ro Khanna.
Initially involved in education in California, he first became active in politics in 1971, when San Jose mayor Norman Mineta appointed Honda to the city’s Planning Commission. After holding other positions, Honda was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 1990, and to the California State Assembly in 1996, where he served until 2001.
On the issue of comfort women, in 2007 Honda proposed US H.Res. 121, which stated that Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner, refute any claims that the issue of comfort women never occurred, and educate current and future generations “about this horrible crime while following the recommendations of the international community with respect to the ‘comfort women.”