BERLIN, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — A Berlin district council has passed a resolution seeking to keep a statue of a girl symbolizing the victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery permanently installed at a public site, officials and reports said Wednesday.
The resolution, approved by a majority vote at Berlin’s Mitte district parliament on Tuesday (Berlin time), calls for measures to have the statue remain in the district while extending the statue’s installation period by another six weeks to September next year.
The “Statue of Peace”, erected at a public park in the German capital, has sparked a fresh row between Korea and Japan after Tokyo lodged a protest with Berlin over the statue’s installation and asked for it to be removed.
In October, the Mitte district ordered its removal, but the civic group that set up the statue took legal action to suspend the order. Amid the activists’ campaign and growing criticism, the district council adopted a resolution last month to retract the decision.
The statue symbolizes 200,000 Asian women, mostly Koreans, who were forcibly sent to front-line brothels to work as sex slaves for Japanese troops during World War II.
The sexual slavery victims, euphemistically called “comfort women,” are one of the many thorny issues stemming from the 1910-45 period when Korea was a Japanese colony.