District Protects Sex Slave Statue in Front of Japanese Embassy

Hanna Kim, Sept. 29, 2017, 9:19 a.m.

A statue honoring women forced into sexual slavery by imperial Japan in front of the former Japanese Embassy in Seoul has been designated No. 1 public sculpture by the Jongno District Office.

The district office on Thursday said the designation will provide legal grounds to prevent the removal or relocation of the statue without permission.

Under district regulations, for a public installation to be removed or relocated, it is required to inform the owner of the installation and the district's public art committee must review the matter.

The move comes after the previous government struck a deal with Tokyo whereby Japan would indirectly compensate the victims without admitting guilt, and Seoul in return would remove the embarrassing statues from the vicinity of Japanese diplomatic missions.

The bronze statue was erected in 2011 by Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan with the support of the Ministry of Gender Equality, which asked the district office for approval.

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