Opposition leaders quit over election defeat

Japanese rightist ‘terrorizes’ memorials to comfort women

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Published : 2012-06-22 20:24
Updated : 2012-06-22 20:24

A Japanese rightist provoked public outrage by placing a stake claiming Dokdo as Japanese territory beside a commemorative statue for Korean wartime sex slaves during Japanese colonial rule.

The 90 centimeter-long wooden post erected Tuesday by Suzuki Nobuyuki, a former unsuccessful councilor candidate, claimed the islets as part of Japanese territory.

He returned to his country and exhibited his “achievement” on his personal blog and YouTube.

Local police said that after he took a picture with the stake an officer tried to remove it. He then tried to tie the stake around the statue, took photographs and shot video.

In a video message he said, “There is a memorial to comfort women, prostitutes, in front of the Japanese Embassy. We need to get rid of it.”

He said he tried to give another similar stake to the Japanese Embassy but was rejected.

The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan said it is likely that the man who “terrorized” a museum to commemorate comfort women was also Suzuki. 
This picture from Suzuki Nobuyuki’s blog shows a stake he placed beside a commemorative statue for Korean wartime sex slaves in Seoul.

“We have checked the surveillance camera film and saw a man looking identical to Suzuki alongside a friend entering the backyard of the museum building on June 18 in the afternoon,” a member of the organization said. Several hours later staff workers found an identical looking stake on the back wall of the building.

A similar stake was found near the Korean Embassy in Tokyo in March.

“I think we could seek to press charges against him for property damage but we will have to go over the issue in diplomatic and other aspects,” Yoon Mi-hyang, head of the organization, said. The fact that Suzuki has already returned to his country could be an obstacle to further investigation.

“Still it is a very rude, immature and ignorant deed from a moral, ethical and historical point of view,” she added.

Han Hye-jin, deputy spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, expressed regret.

“Even taking into account that this is a civilian matter, this is a very regrettable demeanor,” she said.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

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