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Art event with “comfort women” statue to be held in Tokyo in April

TOKYO – A controversial art exhibition featuring works such as a statue symbolizing the “comfort women” who worked in Japan’s wartime military brothels will be held in Tokyo next month, its organizers said Friday, after being postponed for about a year due to protests.


The “Non-Freedom of Expression Exhibition” will run from April 2 to 5 in the suburban city of Kunitachi, showcasing works that have been banned or removed from public art museums due to their controversial nature, the organizers said.


“We just want to offer an opportunity to appreciate art in peace,” Sadaaki Iwasaki, a co-representative of the organizers, told a press conference, asking people opposing the event not to cause any trouble to residents around the venue.


The exhibition sparked controversy in 2019 in Nagoya. It was initially scheduled to be held in Shinjuku, central Tokyo, from June to July last year but postponed after protestors gathered in vehicles near the original venue and denounced the exhibition as “anti-Japan” through loudspeakers.


It was held in Osaka in July under tight security amid repeated threats and protests.

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