Aug 7 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

What do you think about the latest South Korean comfort women statue?

In late July 2020 local Pyeongchang media linked a new statue commemorating Korean comfort women at one of the city’s botanical gardens to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The piece entitled ‘Eternal Atonement’ shows a man bowing to a young girl and was commissioned by the garden’s owner Kim Chang-ryeol. This news became international as Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, claimed if this were in fact a depiction of Abe it would have a “decisive effect” on the two countries bilateral relationship. Is the latest Korean comfort women statue a depiction of Shinzo Abe? Have South Korea gone too far with comfort women statues? asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-South-Korea-rift/South-Korea-park-cancels-ceremony-for-statue-resembling-Abe
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An overreaction
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An overreaction

This latest conflict in the comfort women issue is a ridiculous overstep on Yoshihide Suga’s part, this is a statues that is part of a private collection, not a decision by the Korean government to commission a work. Kim Chang-ryeol, the owner of the garden and who had the work made, even said it does not necessarily represent Shinzo Abe. This is a dangerous precedent to set in Japanese foreign policy, to allow the opinions or artistic expression of private foreign citizens to have such an effect on foreign policy. As fairly liberal societies Japan and Korea should be trying to encourage free and open expression, not politicising matters to encourage state or self censorship.


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Aug 7