San Francisco, California – The Japanese city called Osaka cut its ties with its longtime sister-city San Francisco. The mayor of Osaka, Hirofumi Yoshimura, asked the current and former mayor to take down the statue that depicts the so-called ‘’comfort women’.’ The statue illustrates the fact that the Japanese military forced into sexual slavery in World War Second.
The statue called ‘’Column of Strength” is located in the city’s St. Mary’s Square, located in Chinatown. According to the city mayor, the statue is not fair. It sets Japan apart as one of the countries that forced women into sexual slavery during wartime. While many other nations throughout history are guilty of doing this during wartime, not all have a statue stating as such. That’s what the mayor means when he says that it isn’t fair to keep the statue up.
Osaka No Longer Sister City of San Francisco
The proposal to take the statue down disappointed San Francisco Superior Court Judge. When he was asked about Yoshimura, he said this action is simply a denial of history. Hiding behind the guise of “fairness,” the judge believes Yoshimura is attempting to whitewash things that his country did.
The statue was erected by the sculptor Steven Whyte and depicts three women standing in a circle and holding hands. The fourth woman is below them. She is late Korean human right activist and sex trafficking survivor.
According to a 1994 report, Japanese military founded brothels where Malaysian, Filipino, Taiwanese women were forced to be sexually obedient to military men. This happened in the years leading up to and during World War II, while Japan was going through an imperialist period.
Even though Yoshimura doesn’t deny this happened, but he believes the number is exaggerated. As a result, he thinks that the statue casts Japan in an unfair light. However, San Francisco has so far held firm in its disagreement.