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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

South Korean municipal governor refuses to remove “comfort women” statue in Busan

On April 19, Busan Consul-General Yasuhiro Morimoto met with Park Sam-seok, mayor of Dong Ward, which permitted a citizens’ group in late 2016 to erect a “comfort women” statue in front of Japan’s consulate-general in Busan. At the meeting, Morimoto asked the mayor to have the statue removed, but Mayor Park refused. “Local governments cannot get involved in the issue of ‘comfort women’ statues,” the mayor said, according to sources.


On Dec. 28 last year, a citizens’ group erected a statue of a girl symbolizing comfort women. At that time, Dong Ward removed it, saying it was in “violation of the Road Law.” After the citizens’ group vehemently opposed the ward’s action, however, it permitted the statue to be reinstalled [in front of the consulate-general] two days later. In response, the Japanese government recalled both Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine and Consul-General Morimoto for about three months from January through April 4.


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