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Editorial: Japan Should Call for Removal of the Comfort Women Statue in the US




San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin Mah Lee has accepted the donation of a comfort women statue erected in the city by Chinese-American community groups.


The comfort women statue, which distorts historical facts and condemns Japan, has become public property. This act amounts to abetting anti-Japanese propaganda, and cannot be condoned. It should be revoked immediately.


The San Francisco City Council voted to accept the donation. Both the Japanese government and Osaka City urged Mayor Lee to exercise his veto rights, to no avail.



The inscription on the comfort women statue contains counter-factual content, such as, “This is proof of the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of girls and women who were made sex-slaves by the Japanese Army.”


Osaka City’s Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura said that “the trust relationship has collapsed,” revealing the dissolution of the 60 year-long sister-city relationship with San Francisco. It is a sensible decision. After all, how is one to build a friendship with a partner who accepts a statue denigrating Japan?




The opinion that to cause trouble is unwise does not hold in the international community. One should protest against unreasonable criticism and call for the statue’s removal. Not to do so would only tarnish the honor of Japan as a country, as well as her people.


We need to ponder this: what is the aim of dredging up the historically unfounded “comfort women issue” some 70 years post-war? While the background of the Chinese-American community groups is not obvious, what is clear is that anti-Japanese propaganda can bring harm to the trust relationship of both cities.




The statue, which features three women holding hands, is seen to depict Chinese, Korean, and Filipino comfort women. One can clearly see the design to cause a confrontation between these three countries and Japan. There are sizeable negative effects from several major American cities publicly sanctioning comfort women statues. It could become a trigger for the escalation of anti-Japanese propaganda in the US.


In alliance with the US, and under the banner of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, Japan is currently attempting to hinder China’s maritime expansion and North Korea’s nuclear armament. To that end, cooperation from the Philippines and so forth, will be crucial.



Anti-Japanese propaganda is capable of weakening Japan-US ties, among other things. It is not just a problem for Osaka City, but a Japan-wide issue. Speaking at a press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: “It is extremely regrettable. We will undertake every effort to ensure this kind of incident is not repeated.”


However, we want Japanese Government to lobby the San Francisco city government to remove the statue. The Korean parliament has passed a motion legally declaring August 14th to be “Comfort Women Day.” The Japanese parliament should unequivocally oppose these kinds of anti-Japanese propaganda.



(Click here to read the original article in Japanese.)