SF Accepts the Comfort Women Statue

According to the recent article on the BBC website, SF has accepted a statue that represents the "comfort women" that were forced to work for Japanese soldiers as sex slaves during the Second World War. The work portrays three young women from the Philippines, China, as well as Korea is standing in a circle while they hold hands. Similar statues worldwide have angered Japan; Osaka, who is SF's Japanese sister city, has already threatened that she will cut ties because of that move.

A United Nations report stated that it is estimated that these military brothels kept 200,000 women. Some of these women were willing to work; others were deceived that they would work as cleaners or cooks and many were forced. They are believed to have mainly come from Korea, but others were also from Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, as well as from China.

statue in SF was set up secretly in late Sep., but on Wednesday Edwin Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, CA, signed a confirmation stating that the city council had accepted the statue. An inscription on the monument's side states the statue bears witness to the tens of thousands of girls and women that suffered euphemistically known as the 'Comfort Women,' who worked for the Imperial Japanese Army as sex slaves in a total of thirteen Asian-Pacific nations from 1931 to 1945.

There is another fourth figure standing nearby, and it depicts a senior woman meant to be the Korean human rights activist, Kim Hak-sun, who was the first woman to speak publicly regarding her experience on the Japanese invasion of Korea during the war. Same memorials have been set up in other places, most notably in the Republic of Korea.

In Jan., Japan at the moment withdrew its ambassador to the Republic of Korea over a new monument outside the Japanese consulate in the port city Busan of South Korea. Also, a statue stands outside the consulate of Japan in Seoul. Japan said that the statues in the Republic of Korea are violating a 2015 deal; the deal agreed that the reparations of Japan would eventually and irreversibly solve the issue. However, many Koreans see that settlement was not enough, and the issue remains to plague ties.

However, there are other monuments in Canada and the United States, as well as in the Commonwealth of Australia, which had its first "comfort woman" monument set up in the year 2016. These have caused degrees of tension that varies. In this case, Hirofumi Yoshimura, who is the mayor of Osaka, wrote to his counterpart in San Francisco to protest against the monument, saying he could end the sisterhood that exists between the two cities; the sisterhood dates back to 1957.


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