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Majority of S. Koreans against relocating ‘comfort woman’ statue: poll

December 30, 2015

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Nearly 7 out of 10 South Koreans disapprove of relocating a statue of a girl that symbolizes Korean wartime sex slaves in exchange for the recent “comfort women” deal between South Korea and Japan, a local survey showed Wednesday.

A statue of a young girl, symbolizing the victims of Japan's sexual enslavement, is seen in this photo taken on Dec. 28, 2015. The statue, set up in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, has become an issue in the agreement announced on the day by South Korea and Japan to end their confrontation over "comfort women." Japan is pressing for it to be relocated elsewhere, and South Korea said it will take into account Japan's concerns and try to solve the situation in an appropriate manner. (Yonhap)

A statue of a young girl, symbolizing the victims of Japan’s sexual enslavement, is seen in this photo taken on Dec. 28, 2015. The statue, set up in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, has become an issue in the agreement announced on the day by South Korea and Japan to end their confrontation over “comfort women.” Japan is pressing for it to be relocated elsewhere. (Yonhap)

Earlier this week, Japan apologized for sexually enslaving Korean women during World War II in a landmark deal between the two neighbors.

But Japan reportedly stipulated that South Korea remove the statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in exchange for 1 billion yen (US$8.3 million) in damages. A South Korean official later denied Japanese news reports that Seoul agreed to relocate a statue symbolizing victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery in exchange for compensation for the women.

Some 66 percent of South Koreans disapprove of that precondition, compared with 19 percent of those who favor it, a survey by South Korean pollster Realmeter showed.

Younger respondents were more likely to oppose it than older ones. More than 65 percent of 20-somethings were against removing the statue, compared with only 45 percent of sexagenarians.

More than 80 percent of those who labeled themselves as “progressive” also rejected the stipulation, while only 50 percent of the self-proclaimed conservatives joined them. A third of the conservatives supported the statue’s relocation.

The telephone survey was conducted on 535 South Korean adults on Tuesday. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

3 Comments

  1. Moguro Fukuz

    January 3, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Installation of such a statue in front of the embassy is a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 which South Korean has ratified.

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