Statue Unveiled Outside Atlanta to Remember Victims of Japan's Sex Slavery

Write : 2017-07-01 13:17:35 Update : 2017-07-01 13:19:44

Statue Unveiled Outside Atlanta to Remember Victims of Japan's Sex Slavery

Anchor: Another U.S. city has erected a statue to remember the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery. The statue is also a reminder of human rights abuses that continue to this day.
KBS had reporters there to watch the unveiling. 
Our Kim Soyon tells us more.

Report: A statue of a girl symbolizing victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery was unveiled near the city of Atlanta on Friday as the first such peace statue to be erected in the southern U.S.

The unveiling ceremony took place Friday morning at Blackburn II Park in Brookhaven in the suburbs of Atlanta amid drizzling rain.

Ninety-year-old South Korean victim Kang Il-chul also attended the ceremony and touched the statue with tears in her eyes. 

[Sound bite: Kang Il-chul - 90-year-old sex slavery victim (Korean)]
"I really want to thank the American people and Korean-Americans for remembering and making efforts to remember this horrible history that happened to us Koreans by the Japanese. Thank you so much."

Kang testified that she was dragged by Japanese troops at age 16 from her hometown Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province. She recalled that her family was relatively wealthy and owned an orchard.

Brookhaven Mayor John Arthur Ernst said that establishing the memorial will raise awareness about ongoing sex and human trafficking.

[Sound bite: Brookhaven Mayor John Arthur Ernst]
"The City of Brookhaven is proud to join the growing list of progressive cities around the world that have installed this memorial to recognize comfort women and to talk about their suffering."

The unveiling drew more global attention following recent controversial remarks by the Japanese consul general in Atlanta, Takashi Shinozuka. While opposing the statue's establishment, he described victims of Japanese wartime sex slavery as "paid prostitutes."

The Philippine Consulate General in Atlanta, Raoul Donato, also attended the ceremony. He said during his speech that it's a historical fact that Japan trampled on human rights and conducted medical experiments on humans throughout Asia during World War Two.

He said such history should never be repeated, noting he was speaking on behalf of all Filipinos in Atlanta.

Global media covered the event including the Associated Press as well as Japan's NHK and Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS).

Korean American residents in the U.S. said they will install more statues in larger U.S. cities like Atlanta until the Japanese government sincerely apologizes for its wartime aggression. 
Kim Soyon, KBS World Radio News. 

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