LOS ANGELES, Jun. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Amid growing support for so-called ‘comfort women’ statues in the U.S., Japanese government officials are allegedly continuing their efforts to thwart the spread of the artwork commemorating the victims of the Second World War.
The small city of Brookhaven, a community of around 50,000 residents in the state of Georgia, is poised to become the site of the third ‘Young Girl’s Statue for Peace’, following Glendale’s Central Park in California and the Korean Society-Metro Detroit in Michigan, after a unanimous vote was held by the Brookhaven City Council.
As the city prepares to welcome the statue, which now rests in the city park covered in a box awaiting an unveiling ceremony scheduled for the 29th this month, reports of growing opposition from Japan have emerged, with the latest example being Takashi Shinozuka, the consul general of Japan in Atlanta, contacting the mayor of Brookhaven and city officials to protest the city’s decision to install the statue.
This month, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is set to visit both South Korea and Japan.
After the governor visits South Korea on a direct flight from Atlanta to Incheon, in celebration of the launch of a new Delta route, and meets with Hyundai and Kia Motors’ executives, he will then fly to Japan to see company and government officials from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a meeting during which he could be pressed to opt out of installing the statue, with business deals being used as leverage.
“Japanese companies and government officials are likely to urge the governor of Georgia not to proceed with the installment of the comfort woman statue,” an official at the task force for comfort women memorials said.
Previously, backlash from the Japanese consulate and lobbying against a plan to install a comfort women statue in Atlanta saw the Center for Civil and Human Rights reverse its initial decision to install the statue in the city.
As a previous lawsuit by Japanese citizens brought against the city of Glendale’s decision to install a memorial statue was dismissed, the opposition is likely to focus on lobbying rather than taking legal action.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recently at the May 23rd, 2017 City Council meeting a Comfort Women statue was approved for a city park in your municipality.
During the public portion of the meeting two people spoke in favor the placing that statue claiming in part it was not “Japan bashing.” I am sorry to disagree with these two well intentioned persons.
First allow me to introduce myself: During past seven years I have traveled extensively throughout Japan from Okinawan to Hokkaido, speaking at numerous conferences. During this time I also authored seven books in Japan. During my travels and talks I have met students on every level, teachers, university professors, politicians, corporate leaders, journalists, doctors, lawyers, factory workers, members of the military, basically a cross section of the Japanese populace.
I can honestly write to a person they all perceive these Comfort Women statues / memorials as a pure form of Japan bashing. They feel the placement of these items dishonor the nation and people of Japan.
Please allow me to explain why: This proposed Comfort Women statue only memorializes women servicing the Japanese military during and prior to the start of World War Two. While at the same time ignoring the women pressed into Comfort Service by the South Korean military for the U.S. military over about a forty year period. From around 1950 to around 1990, and a lawsuit currently is pending. Also ignores the Comfort Women pressed into service by South Korean troops for South Korean troops in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
By claiming empathy of the Comfort Women who were in the service for the Japanese military while ignoring the two aforementioned Comfort Women groups can reasonably be assessed as Japan bashing.
I am not writing should not allow this statue, just requesting in the statues inscription include the other two ignored Comfort Women groups. By doing so it will demonstrate to the nation and people of Japan a concern for all women who served as Comfort Women in the Asian theater prior to 1990. It will also demonstrate the sincerity of the two people who spoke at the City Council meeting stating it was not “Japan bashing.”