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Japanese fight to block 'comfort woman' statue in Sydney

The Statue of Peace in front of the Japanese Embassy in Jongno, downtown Seoul. /Korea Times file

By Park Jae-hyuk

A Japanese group is opposing the "Statue of Peace" to be erected in Sydney on August 6.

The monument, also known as the "Comfort Woman Statue", symbolizes Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.

Lawyer Park Eun-deok, a representative of the establishment committee, said the Japanese have threatened Pastor Bill Crews, who provided a place at his church for the statue.

The Japanese said they will sue the pastor unless he withdraws the offer.

"The statue humiliates and abhors Japanese," the Japanese group said, according to media reports. "It harms the harmony of multiculturalism in Australian society."

Pastor Crews said he will build the statue despite the threats, saying "the statue is related to human rights, justice and peace."

The first Statue of Peace was built in front of the Japanese Embassy in Jongno, downtown Seoul, in December 2011, by a private organization. Since then, the organization has built 30 statues in Korea and abroad. The statue to be erected in Sydney will have the same design as the others.

Park Jae-hyuk

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