A plan to erect a statue symbolizing victims of Japan's sexual enslavement of women during World War Two in Germany has been canceled.
Lee Joo-hyon, the head of a civic group that worked with the city of Suwon to pursue the statue, said at a weekly rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul that the mayor of Freiburg informed Suwon that they are canceling their agreement. He said it was due to organized interference and pressure from the Japanese government and right-wing groups.
Lee added that the Japanese ambassador in Berlin and Japan's consul general in Frankfurt visited Freiburg to strongly protest against the establishment of the statue. The Japanese city of Matsuyama, which has been a sister city of Freiburg for 27 years, had also expressed its willingness to cut off ties if the statue went up.
The Freiburg city government had sent a letter to Suwon in July, stating that it would accept Suwon's proposal for the statue. A committee composed of 75 agencies and organizations in Suwon began fundraising activities for the statue on September seventh.