SYDNEY – An unveiling ceremony was held Saturday for a statue intended to commemorate the issue of “comfort women” that will be installed on the grounds of a church in suburban Sydney next year.
The 1.5-meter-high statue, which depicts a young girl sitting beside an empty chair, was unveiled at The Korean Community Hall in Croydon Park, with around 300 people attending the ceremony.
A Uniting Church minister has offered the grounds of his church in nearby Ashfield as the permanent home of the statue after the Peace Statue Establishing Committee, the group behind its making, encountered opposition to having it located on a public site.
The Australia-Japan Community Network warned in a statement issued this week that the statue will lead to the local Japanese community “having to face this kind of one-sided intimidation while the matter has got nothing to do with the local community.”
At the ceremony, a representative of the Peace Statue Establishing Committee said the landmark deal reached by South Korea and Japan in December last year over Korean women forced to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military has “caused anger” and pledged to erect similar statues in other states of Australia.
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