Seoul – Buses installed with a statue symbolising South Korea’s wartime sex slaves began running through the capital Seoul a day before the anniversary of independence from Japan’s 1910-45 occupation.
Mainstream historians say up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea but also other parts of Asia, were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II.
The plight of the comfort women is a hugely emotional issue that has marred ties between the two Asian neighbours for decades.
Activists have in recent years set up dozens of statues typically a young, barefoot girl wearing a traditional hanbok outfit with her hands on her knees in public venues as a symbol of the victims.
The statues have drawn the ire of Tokyo, which has pressed for the removal of one of them outside its embassy in Seoul after Japan signed a deal with South Korea in December 2015 offering an apology and one billion yen (RM38.6mil) to open a foundation for those sex slaves still alive.
But the city bus company said it wanted to install statues on five buses running through downtown Seoul to keep the women’s memory alive. — AFP