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Gov’t to uniformly use term “comfort women statue”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided on Feb. 2 to refer to statues of girls symbolizing the comfort women, which were erected in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul and consulate general in Busan, as “comfort woman statues.” The change has been made in response to calls within the Liberal Democratic Party, which has been arguing that “the name ‘statue of a girl’ leaves the impression that many of the comfort women were girls” and demanded the name be changed.

 

During Diet interpellations and press conferences, the Japanese government has been referring to the statues using several names, such as “statue of a girl,” “statue of a girl for comfort women,” and “comfort women statue.” But they had been mostly referred to as “statue of a girl” since they depict a girl. When Japan and South Korea signed an agreement in December 2015, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se described it as the “statue of a girl in front of the Japanese embassy.” Since another statue of a girl was erected in front of the Japanese consulate office in Busan at the end of last year, the LDP had been demanding the name be changed and consideration had been underway within MOFA.

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