ANYANG, South Korea, Jan. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – A comfort woman statue erected in front of the Japanese consulate in Busan last month has triggered yet another diplomatic clash between South Korea and Japan.
The statue represents comfort women, sexual slavery victims of the Japanese military during its occupation of Korea. There are more than a two dozen comfort woman statues in Korea, including one in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.
This movement of commemorating the victims, denouncing the Japanese government for what a significant number of Koreans believe is a lack of sincerity in its apologies for the war crimes, is unlikely to subside.
A civic organization in Anyang has recently announced that it is seeking to erect a comfort woman statue in a public park across from the city hall on March 1, a national holiday celebrating the March 1st Movement, which marks the first public resistance against Japan’s colonial rule on March 1, 1919.
The organization was formed in June of last year, and is specifically dedicated to establishing the statue. Although it initially planned to erect the monument in November, it failed to raise the necessary funds in time, and so the project was delayed.
According to officials, the organization is comprised of citizens, young and old, with former and present government officials, including current Anyang mayor Lee Phil-woon, acting as its advisory committee.
“We are planning an inauguration ceremony for noon on March 1,” said an official. “We’re doing the best we can to make this happen.”
The organization had raised 30 million won ($25,473) as of the end of last year, still falling short of the target amount that will cover the statue’s manufacturing cost and expenses for the ceremony.
With the imminent deadline at hand, officials will bolster fund-raising efforts. A dozen high schools in the area are already participating in the endeavor, while the group will soon open a temporary teahouse, hand out fliers, and hang banners in public places to continue promoting the venture.
“We had a woman anonymously donate 1 million won last September, asking that we see this project through,” the official added. “We’ll make sure that that our citizens’ pleas will not be in vain.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)