Glendale Mayor speaks out about monument honoring wartime “comfort women

D-Bo, Oct. 3, 2013, 8:35 p.m.

The Glendale Mayor Dave Weaver spoke with a Japanese television station in regards to a controversial monument honoring Korean “comfort women” at Central Park in Glendale California.  The mayor was quoted to say the city “opened a beehive, a hornet’s nest” by allowing this memorial.  He followed with “we shouldn’t have done it.” 

The memorial is supposed to be in honor of over 200,000 women who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II, by the Japanese army. 

Weaver told lobbyists earlier this year that he would not vote in support of the monument. The four other council members, however, voted in support. The mayor, Weaver explained, has no more power than the other council members, since the mayoral office changes hands every year and is appointed by the council.

The mayor is planning to discuss the issue with the Japanese Consul General in Los Angeles. The mayor of Higashiosaka, Japan, with which Glendale has a 50-year-old cultural and exchange relationship, sent an angry letter to Weaver in July about the monument. Weaver said he has yet to respond, saying he may wait until after his meeting with the Consul General.

Glendale city officials stood firm by their decision in July to install the statue at Central Park. It also found support in Congress. Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), who sponsored a congressional resolution honoring comfort women, also supported the monument. The city of Buena Park in Orange County, however, turned down a proposal for a similar statue.

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