Japan Recalls Ambassador to South Korea to Protest ‘Comfort Woman’ Statue

A statue of a girl representing the Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military being unveiled during a rally in front of the Japanese Consulate in Busan, South Korea, last week. Credit Kim Sun-ho/Yonhap, via Reuters

SEOUL, South Korea — Japan recalled its envoy to South Korea on Friday to protest a statue commemorating Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II, in the latest sign that ties between Washington’s two key Asian allies were again deteriorating over the bitter historical issue.

“The Japanese government finds this situation extremely regrettable,” Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said during a news conference in Tokyo, referring to the placement of the statue outside the Japanese Consulate in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, last week.

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