Friday, Sep. 30, 2011
Seoul urged to nix sex slave monument
SEOUL — Japan has asked South Korea to block a plan by a group of elderly Korean women who were forced to provide sex for Imperial Japanese soldiers during the war to set up a Peace Monument near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, according to a Yonhap News Agency report Wednesday.
“Japan’s Foreign Ministry has asked us to prevent them from setting up the Peace Monument,” a South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry official was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity.
The monument plan was conceived by the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, which has staged weekly rallies in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand the Japanese government apologize for and pay direct compensation to the victims, euphemistically called “comfort women.”
The group plans to unveil the monument in December to mark its 1,000th demonstration. The official told Yonhap it would be difficult for the government to block the move because setting up a monument does not require governmental approval.
Japan has yet to respond to South Korea’s Sept. 15 proposal for talks on the comfort women issue, following a Constitutional Court ruling in late August that found it is unconstitutional for the government to make no specific effort to settle the issue with Japan.
The Korean Peninsula was under Japan’s harsh colonial rule from 1910 to1945.