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Osaka mayor asks San Francisco counterpart to veto bill on comfort women statue

On Nov. 20, Osaka City disclosed a letter dated Nov. 15 that Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura sent to the mayor of San Francisco asking him to veto a bill passed by the San Francisco city council to accept a private group’s donation of a statue representing comfort women. Osaka has long had a sister city relationship with the American city.


The San Francisco mayor can veto a bill if the action to reject the passage is taken within 10 days of its passage (Nov. 14). The Osaka mayor not only requests the American mayor to exercise the right to veto but states that he will “propose the sister city ties be dissolved” if San Francisco puts the bill into force.


This is the fifth letter that Mayor Yoshimura has sent to his San Francisco counterpart [on this issue]. “This is my final attempt,” he comments.


In his past letters, Mayor Yoshimura criticized the statue and the inscription, saying, “One-sided claims are inscribed [on the statue] as if they were historical fact.” In his most recent letter, Yoshimura described the San Francisco city council’s passage of the bill as “regrettable beyond measure” and “a move that rocks the relationship of trust between our two cities to its very core.” He said to his American counterpart, “I strongly request that you make a prudent and wise decision.”


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