Korean group must remove Berlin tribute to "comfort women"

BERLIN (AP) - A district of Berlin ordered a local Korean group to remove a statue commemorating women Japan used as sex slaves during World War II. Friday it goes beyond what has been approved.
The problem of sex slaves, euphemistically dubbed "comfort women", was a major source of friction between South Korea and Japan, and the district's decision came after Japan expressed anger at the statue depicting a woman next to an empty chair.
Stephan von Dassel, mayor of the central district of Mitte, said the Korean organization had received permission to issue a "statue of peace" as a comprehensive "declaration against sexual violence against women in armed conflict" for a year.
Instead, he said, the statue, unveiled at the end of September, "deals exclusively with the behavior of the Japanese army during World War II".
"This has caused irritation in Japan at the national and local levels and also in Berlin," he said in a statement.
Historians say tens of thousands of Korean women were lured into Japanese military brothels or forced into sexual slavery when the Korean peninsula was under Japanese colonial rule in 1910-45.
The Korean Association has until October 14th to remove the statue.

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