Japanese Exhibit Featuring Sex-Slave Statue Closes

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    July 09, 2021 10:55

    An exhibition in Nagoya featuring a statue commemorating victims forced into sexual slavery by the imperial Japanese army has closed after a bomb hoax.

    The city of Nagoya said the exhibition has been closed for safety reasons after a suspicious package was delivered to a municipal gallery on Thursday morning. It contained what turned out to be fireworks that exploded when the box was opened.

    Police were at the scene and there were no injuries, but visitors were forced to evacuate.

    Reporters gather at an exhibition featuring a statue commemorating Korean victims of wartime sex slavery in a municipal gallery in Nagoya, Japan on Tuesday. /Yonhap

    The exhibition showcases works that challenge taboos in Japanese society and has faced fierce opposition from rightwing groups.

    The sex slave statue -- which consist of a seated female figure next to an empty chair -- was originally unveiled in Japan during the Aichi Triennale, one of the biggest international contemporary art festivals, in August 2019.

    Rightwing activists protest against an exhibition featuring a statue honoring Korean victims of wartime sex slavery in front of a municipal gallery in Nagoya, Japan on Tuesday. /Yonhap

    A similar exhibition was planned in Osaka, but city officials there banned it citing safety concerns. Japanese rightwing groups also held protests in front of the gallery and were poised to mount a counter-exhibition there.

    Japan has had great trouble coming to terms with the shame of its wartime atrocities, and a succession of rightwing politicians have ridden to election victory on their denial.

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