(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Following the end of the World War II, the United States and Japan have worked hard to forge an alliance and put aside their differences. While Japan has worked hard to put their past behind them, not everyone has forgotten their atrocities during WWII. A statue dedicated to some of the victims of Imperial Japan has caused the city of Osaka to cut ties with San Francisco.
As Imperial Japan led a campaign across East Asia and the Pacific Islands, not all of their victims were met with death. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls were taken as captives and forced into sex slavery for Japanese Soldiers, better known as Comfort Women. Only a handful of former Comfort Women are still alive and have pushed the Japanese Government to acknowledge their crimes. However, their cries have fallen on deaf ears and the Japan refuses to admit that such atrocities occurred during WWII. The City of San Francisco erected a monument to these women in Chinatown and Osaka was not thrilled about it.
“Our relationship of trust was completely destroyed. I will dissolve the sister-city relationship.”
– Hirofumi Yoshimura (Osaka Mayor)
The statue called Women’s Column of Strength is one of several statues around the country dedicated to the victims. Yet, the Mayor of Osaka feels targeted for a history of War Crimes. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also shied away from addressing comfort women and also avoided an opportunity to apologize for the attack on Pearl Harbor last year during a ceremony for the 75th Anniversary of the attack.
Where do you stand on the issue? Is the Mayor of Osaka overreacting or is it due time for the Japan to admit its past?