A statue of a Korean woman forced into sexual slavery by imperial Japan in World War II, which was removed from the Aichi Triennale art exhibition in Japan last week, has been bought by a media business owner in Spain. Reuters reported Wednesday that Tatxo Benet, founder of soccer rights company Imagina Mediaprobought the statue and plans to exhibit it at a galley he plans to open in Barcelona early next year. The statue depicts a young woman in traditional Korean dress sitting on one of two wooden chairs and symbolizes the victims of the Japanese army's wartime sexual enslavement of young girls.
Alas, Japan's extremists have still not given up trying to find honor in the nation's wartime defeat and and the ideology that led to it. Lee Yong-soo's is a poignant saga of abduction from her village at age 16 and ending up on an air base in Taiwan, where she was beaten and tortured until she succumbed. Abe face-planted by sending back Japan's ambassador to Seoul without resolving the statue issue, one that should never have been made into such a big deal in the first place.
Imperial Japan annexed the Empire of Korea in as a critical step in the colonial project that would eventually lead to its alliance with Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Lee Chun-sik, now in his nineties, was one of the many who were forced into slave labor. Lee did grueling and dangerous work at a steel mill in Japan, receiving no pay, little food, and regular beatings.
When year-old Lee Yong-soo returned home to South Korea in after years as a child sex slave for Japanese troops, her family, having given her up for dead, thought she was a ghost. She still remembers the blue and purple fabric of that dress, but other memories from those years are more traumatic. Japan says the claims have been settled by past agreements and apologies, and that the continued controversy threatens relations between the two countries. Now with only 27 registered South Korean survivors still alive, there is a sense of urgency behind efforts by the women to receive a formal apology as well as legal compensation from Japan while their voices can still be heard.
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TOKYO AFP - A Japanese exhibition featuring a controversial South Korean artwork depicting a wartime sex slave has been cancelled after threats of violence as bilateral ties between the countries fray. The cancellation comes as relations between Tokyo and Seoul are soured by bitter disputes over territory and history stemming from Tokyo's colonial rule over the peninsula in the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition, which was part of a major art festival in Aichi, central Japan, was shut down on Saturday Aug 3 after just three days.
A statue of a girl representing victims of Japan's World War II-era sexual slavery, which has been on display at an international arts festival in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, was ordered by Japanese officials to be removed, the festival's organizers said Saturday. The statue, which symbolizes Korean women who were forced to serve as sexual slaves for front-line Japanese soldiers during the war, was created by a South Korean artist and has been on display at the Aichi Triennale international contemporary art festival. Yonhap Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, and Hideaki Omura, governor of Aichi Prefecture, notified the festival's organizers that the statue should be removed.
According to testimonies, young women were abducted from their homes in countries under Imperial Japanese rule. In many cases, women were lured with promises of work in factories or restaurants, or opportunities for higher education; once recruited, they were incarcerated in comfort stations both inside their nations and abroad. Military correspondence of the Imperial Japanese Army shows that the aim of facilitating comfort stations was the prevention of rape crimes committed by Japanese army personnel and thus preventing the rise of hostility among people in occupied areas.
Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world.
Confirming the earlier report by Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, the South Korean media said the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation, set up under a agreement between Seoul and Tokyo, has been officially dissolved. The foundation applied for the dissolution on June 17 and was notified Wednesday that the dissolution procedures were completed, according to the report. For the actual dismissal of the foundation, some steps reportedly remained to be taken including the liquidation of the remaining assets.