BEIJING —China says there should be a statue in Tokyo that symbolizes women forced to work in wartime brothels for the Japanese military.
“If a ‘comfort women’ statue is also erected in Tokyo, it may help Japan unload the burden of history and win the understanding of Asian neighbors,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing Tuesday.
Comfort woman statue in Seoul, South Korea. Reuters photo
He made the statement when asked about what China thinks of the Japanese government’s negative reaction to the unveiling Saturday of a memorial in Shanghai symbolizing the so-called “comfort women.”
“An action like this cannot be said to contribute to an improvement in Japan-China relations, and is extremely regrettable,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Monday.
The memorial, the first of its kind in China, at Shanghai Normal University, consists of a statue of a seated girl wearing traditional Chinese dress, next to another girl in South Korean dress in the style of the statue installed in front of Japan’s embassy in Seoul in 2011.
The Chinese spokesman said Japan needs to be “responsible for history, for human conscience, and respect for human rights,” urging it not to cause any damage to the physical and mental health of the victims and their relatives.