A woman forced into a brothel during WWII by the Japanese Imperial Army embraced a new statue to spread her story and that of as many as 410,000 other comfort women.
Lee Yongsoo, 89, attended a ceremony Friday unveiling the comfort women statue in San Francisco, the first in a major U.S. city, according to VOA.
“We all share the same humanity,” she told a crowd of about 500, reported SF Gate. “This is an issue for everyone. This is about a sincere apology from the government of Japan.”
The statue was approved by the Board of Supervisors and organized by members of the Chinese, Korean and Filipino communities.
More than 1,000 angry emails were received by the sculptor of the project, Steven Whyte, demanding that he stop. Similar statues in other US cities have also drawn controversy.
A spokesperson for the Japanese consulate in San Francisco said the memorials “perpetuate and fixate on certain one-sided interpretations, without presenting credible evidence.”
The statue by Whyte depicts a Chinese, Korean and Filipina holding hands atop a pedestal. On the ground is a grandmother watching them from below.
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