Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Japan plans to remove the statue of a Korean "comfort woman" in Berlin despite the consensus among German politicians to keep it.
Tokyo's foreign ministry said Wednesday the government's goal is to take the statue out of the Berlin borough of Mitte -- home to Hitler's Bunker --within a year, according to politician Masahisa Sato, Kyodo News and Jiji Press reported.
The Japanese government decided after a closed-door meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Opposition politicians were not invited.
Japan continues to pursue its policy of removing statues that represent victims of Japanese wartime brothels after German politicians voted in favor of the memorial.
South Korean activists and historians have said Korean women and young girls were forcibly recruited into Japan's military camps to serve soldiers during World War II. Victims have said they were beaten and raped and received no hospital care.
On Dec. 1, the Mitte district council agreed to keep the statue by a "majority vote," according to Frank Bertermann, a member of the Green Party, South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh reported.
Twenty-four of 29 German council members agreed the statue should stay, but left open the option to remove it by late September. The statue also could remain on site permanently, the politicians said.
"The peace statue is based on concrete historical facts, namely the sexual violence perpetrated by the Japanese military against Korean women during the Second World War," said Thilo Urchs of Germany's Left Party.
"Sexual violence in wars and military conflicts is not an isolated matter but a structural issue that must be fundamentally prevented."
Japan's LDP receives widespread support from right wing and far right-wing factions that claim comfort women were volunteers, or prostitutes.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato previously said the German decision was "deeply dismaying." Tokyo has said all issues were resolved under a 2015 agreement with Seoul.