'Comfort women' sign in Times Square urges Japan to apologize

October 07, 2012

By HIROKI MANABE/ Correspondent

NEW YORK--A billboard urging Japan to apologize for its wartime exploitation of "comfort women" appeared in New York's Times Square in early October.

Believed to have been erected by a private South Korean group, the sign asks for a "heartfelt apology" to women forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

The advertisement, which is more than 10 meters square, begins with the question "Do you remember?" and shows former German Chancellor Willy Brandt kneeling in apology for Nazi atrocities at a Jewish ghetto monument in Poland in the 1970s.

The sign says the action "promoted reconciliation in Europe."

It continues: "In 2012, Korean women forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers … are still waiting for a heartfelt apology from Japan."

The group believed to have created the sign had also placed an ad in U.S. newspapers calling on the Japanese government to apologize to Korean women forced into sexual service.

The Consulate General of Japan in New York sent a letter of protest, explaining the Japanese government's stance on the issue, to the advertising company that controls the billboard installation site.

By HIROKI MANABE/ Correspondent
  • 1
submit to reddit
A billboard on Oct. 4 in New York's Times Square asks Japan to apologize to former "comfort women." (Hiroki Manabe)

A billboard on Oct. 4 in New York's Times Square asks Japan to apologize to former "comfort women." (Hiroki Manabe)

Toggle
  • A billboard on Oct. 4 in New York's Times Square asks Japan to apologize to former "comfort women." (Hiroki Manabe)

More AJW