Statue honoring WWII sex slaves removed in Philippines

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

via AP – A statue honoring women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II has been quietly removed from a busy seaside promenade in the Philippine capital, angering women’s groups.

Manila City Hall said in a statement that the bronze statue of a blindfolded Filipina, unveiled alongside Manila Bay in December, will be returned once drainage work is completed. It gave no time frame for the project, alarming activists who suspect that the Japanese government pressured the Philippines to take the monument down.

“What happened is that we kneeled down to the Japanese. … That’s why it’s shameful, so shameful,” said Teresita Ang See, co-founding president of a Chinese Filipino group.

Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, a professor at De La Salle University in Manila, called on the public to fight to get back the statue as a symbol of national dignity.

The monument was removed Friday night.

Japan’s minister for internal affairs and communications, Seiko Noda, had expressed regret over the construction of the monument in January. Japan’s Kyodo News agency cited the Japanese Embassy in Manila as saying the Philippine government had notified the embassy of its intention to remove the statue.

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