Japan steps up opposition to memorials

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Japan steps up opposition to memorials

WASHINGTON - The Japanese government has ordered its diplomats in the U.S. to step up efforts to block the erection of monuments to Korean women forced to serve as sex slaves for Japan’s imperialist troops during World War II, a source said Tuesday.

Japan’s foreign ministry has “directed its Consul General in New York to actively protest monuments to comfort women being erected by Korean-American groups here,” said the Nelson Report, a private information service provider based in Washington.

Its claim has not been formally confirmed. Responding to Yonhap News Agency’s inquiry on the matter, the Japanese Embassy in Washington said it would take some time to provide a formal answer.

The Nelson Report, which has a track record of providing some correct information on sensitive diplomatic issues, though not always, said Tokyo is taking issue with not only such monuments but also the numbers of victims cited.

Korean groups say thousands of Korean women were kidnapped and raped by Japanese soldiers in the early 1900s when Korea was under Japan’s brutal colonization.

Most recently, the Korean-American community in New Jersey was successful in placing a small monument in a local park. The U.S. government refuses to be drawn into the issue. Yonhap

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