Japanese PM asks Germany to Help Demolish Comfort Women Statue

A top government spokesperson said Wednesday that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida asked Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz to help remove a Korean “comfort women” statue in Berlin.  

“The prime minister said it was extremely regrettable to see the comfort women statue remain and sought cooperation again from the German side,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said

According to Matsuno, the Japanese government was disappointed to see that the statue still existed after a pro-Korean civic group erected it in the central Berlin district of Mitte in 2020 with local authorities approving its installation for one year and extension for another year. 

“We will approach various parties concerned, tenaciously explain our government’s stance and call for swift removal of the statue,” Matsuno added. 

The Korean “comfort women” is one of the issues that strained relations between the Japanese and South Koreans, which dates to the 1910-1945 Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula, when Korean women were forced to work at wartime brothels for Japanese troops. 

Kishida asked Scholz for help in late April when the German Chancellor visited Japan to deepen their security ties and discuss the crisis in Ukraine. 

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