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Comfort women monument set up near Washington
MAY 28, 2014 06:12  
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan War, which is based in Washington, said Monday that it will set up a monument to pay tribute to Korean comfort women, who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops during World War II, at the Fairfax County government building in Virginia. It added it would hold an opening ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday.

It is the seventh installation of such monument in the U.S. since the first one set up at Palisades Park in New Jersey in October 2010. The latest has meaning in that it is set up near the U.S. capital city and within the regional government building.

The council, in collaboration with the county, created a peace grass garden to set up the 2-meter width and 1.5-meter height monument. The plate engraved the wrongdoings of Japan`s sexual slavery and demand by U.S. Rep. Mike Honda on Japan for compensation. Benches in the form of blue flying butterflies were installed on both sides for aesthetic feature.

Hwang Won-kyun, the National Unification Advisory Council`s Washington council who is head of the monument installation committee, and Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova, played a major role in the monument set up thanks to their friendship. Hwang had given political support to Bulova in elections and Bulova repaid by offering the government building.

At a phone interview with the Dong-A Ilbo, Hwang said, "The increased political power of the Korean community in the U.S. made this possible. I hope this serves as a chance for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making an apology."

The council has promoted the monument set up since 2012 but left it a secret due to concerns of opposition by Japan. On Friday, a Korean community festival will be held to celebrate the passage of legislation to mark East Sea in textbooks in Virginia.

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