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Japan displeased over plan to erect 'comfort women' statue in U.S.

July 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM   |   Comments

TOKYO, July 25 (UPI) -- Plans by a U.S.-South Korean group to erect a monument in California to World War II-era Korean "comfort women" has raised the ire of Japan, officials say.

The Japanese consulate general in Los Angeles has called on officials in Glendale to take action to prevent the statue from being displayed on a public lot, Kyodo News Agency reported Thursday.

The so-called "comfort women" were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. Japan has said a 1965 treaty with South Korea that normalized relations between the countries settled the issue.

Japan says the planned California statue runs counter to Tokyo's views on the issue.

The Glendale city council has approved installation of the statue, which is reportedly a replica of a statue erected in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul in 2011.

In a press conference Wednesday, Kuni Sato, press secretary for the Japanese foreign ministry, said Japan had gone to great lengths to address the issue by providing compensation to surviving rape victims through a private fund.

Some former comfort women have rejected money from the fund, criticizing it as an attempt by the Japanese government to skirt responsibility.

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