Saturday, January 07, 2017

Diplomatic crisis over statue of a "comfort woman" statue representing the Korean "comfort women" - women forced into prostitution by the Japanese during the war were - is creating a diplomatic crisis between Japan and South Korea.
The location of the statue - that is, life-size, a young woman- in front of the Japanese consulate in Busan has been taken by Tokyo to be a provocation, in response to which it has recalled the ambassador and the consul general from Busan.

"The fact that the statue of the girl was placed in front of our consulate - said the secretary of the Japanese government, Yoshihide Suga - has an unfavorable influence on the relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, and it is extremely regrettable."

For its part, the Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that "Our government once again stresses that even if there are difficult issues between the two countries, both governments need to continuously develop their relations." The statement probably refers to the agreement that the two countries had reached in 2015 on the subject of "comfort women."

Japan has agreed to give one billion yen ($ 8.6 million) to a fund to help the survivors. But the deal was criticized by defense of the former comfort women groups. It was one of these groups to place the statue there.

It is estimated that up to 200 thousand women, mostly Korean - others were from China, Taiwan and Indonesia - were forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

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