August 12, 2019 13:45
Solidarity meetings remembering women forced into sexual slavery by imperial Japan will be held in 10 countries, including Japan itself, on Wednesday, a day before Korea's Liberation Day.
Here, the 1,400th regular Wednesday rally in Seoul will be held on a larger scale than usual in front of the old Japanese Embassy, as well as in another 11 cities nationwide.
In the U.S. and Japan the remembrance events on the occasion of Liberation Day are already a fixture, but this year 21 cities in nine countries such as the U.K. and Taiwan are taking part.
In Japan, they will take place in 11 cities where citizens reject the official denial of responsibility, including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hiroshima.
The protests go back to 1991, when one of the victims, the late Kim Hak-soon, spoke out and exposed the atrocity for the first time on Aug. 14. The government last year designated the day as a national memorial day, and this year it falls on Wednesday to coincide with the regular protests.
The current wave of anti-Japanese sentiment here is expected to boost numbers. Only last week, Japanese officials leaned on the organizers of the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya to remove a statue dedicated to the victims.
Organizers have reported to police that 2,000 people will participate in this week's rally in downtown Seoul. "We're preparing for any eventuality, as we're expecting more people than reported to participate due to the latest anti-Japanese sentiment," a police spokesman said.
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