The Consulate General of Japan in the United States has relayed Japan’s displeasure on a monument dedicated to the “comfort women” of World War II. The monument in the city of Glendale, California, an idea by an American-South Korean civic group, is also believed to be a replica of one that is found in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The Japanese government has also urged the local officials to look into the matter and do what needs to be done.
Japan’s displeasure was made known to the city officials of Glendale through a letter. Before the letter was sent, Japan had second thoughts about whether it should let the United States know of its displeasure. It might even be misinterpreted as overreacting about the monument. One official said, “Japan does not want to make the comfort women a diplomatic issue.” Although displeased with the monument, the official said that Japan will not pursue actions to have it removed.
The issue on ‘comfort women’ has been among the reasons for Japan and South Korea’s relationship growing cold recently. The Japanese government had previously established the “Asian Women’s Fund” as compensation for those who suffered during the war. However, some former comfort women have rejected the compensation. Now, many in the South Korean government, as well as the past victims, feel that Japan has not sincere in its past apologies.