OSAKA – The city of Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, has sent a letter of protest to its sister city of Glendale, California, claiming the U.S. city has made false statements regarding the “comfort women” memorial it recently unveiled, municipal officials said Friday.
The statement in question, found on the Glendale city website, says each of its sister cities has “expressed an interest in developing a monument or memorial” within the park space where the bronze statue of a woman in traditional Korean clothing was erected to represent Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military.
“A maintenance fund will be established to cover the cost of any general maintenance and any vandalism or graffiti removal,” it says. “This fund will ensure that all maintenance costs related to sister cities monuments/memorials are covered by our sister city partners.”
Glendale’s six sister cities include the South Korean cities of Goseong and Gimpo.
Higashiosaka Mayor Yoshikazu Noda said in the letter that his city never expressed such interest, nor has it given “any consent to share the expenses for the establishment of the fund.”
On the comfort women issue itself, “Higashiosaka city has never expressed any thoughts,” the mayor wrote, adding, “the people of Higashiosaka are hurt” by the move to install the memorial.