“It is a sculpture who tries to show that forgiving is possible only if Japan continues to ask for atonement until South Korea accepts it,” he was quoted as saying.
South Korea and Japan have long been at odds over the comfort women issue, which stems from Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. Many similar statues of a life-size seated girl have been installed in South Korea, including in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Some have also been erected overseas, such as in the United States.
Japan has protested the installation of the statue in front of its embassy in the South Korean capital, saying it goes against the spirit of a 2015 bilateral accord on the comfort women issue and has demanded its removal.