Mayor of Japanese city says memorial for women used as sex slaves in Japan is not historically accurate.
The city of Osaka has ended its 60-year “sister city” relationship with San Francisco to protest against the presence in the US city of a statue symbolising Japan’s wartime use of sex slaves.
The statue depicts three women – from China, Korea and the Philippines – who symbolise women and teenage girls forced to work in frontline brothels from the early 1930s until Japan’s wartime defeat in 1945.
The statue in San Francisco is one of dozens erected in South Korea and overseas in recent years but the first to appear in a major US city.
“Breaking the relationship over a memorial is outrageous and absurd,” said Lillian Sing, co-chair of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.
“It shows how afraid the Osaka mayor and Japanese prime minister are of truth and are trying to deny history.”.
In addition Japan set up the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, a 1 billion yen fund to care for the dwindling number of surviving women. »