The headline reads, "Osaka mayor to terminate six-decade ties as San Francisco designates 'comfort women' memorial city property." No, this isn't fake news. It's a personal affront voiced by the mayor of one of Japan's largest cities. "The sister-city relationship of trust is gone. I'll undertake measures to dissolve it."
This capricious act by 42-year-old Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura will not hurt nation brand Korea or nation brand America, but he is hurting city brand Osaka, a city that yearns to be as famous and loved as its "big sister" San Francisco.
San Francisco holds the iconic City by the Bay nickname. Seaport cities are proverbially known for comprising more open-minded and tolerant dwellers, in part because of the comings and goings of diverse people from all walks of life that one must engage with in business and daily life. The mayor of Osaka has personal opposition to the installation of a comfort women statue, but that matter is done. His feelings shouldn't drive the business and diplomatic ties between these two cities.