Japanese officials have removed a statue representing the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery.
The statue was on display for 4 days at a public art exhibition in Japan for the first time.
According to the Aichi Triennale International contemporary art festival, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, and the governor of Aichi Prefecture, Hideaki Omura told the festival organizers that the statue must be removed.
The festival added that its decision to remove the statue was also based on “terror threats” by telephone and email.
Japanese newspapers including the Asahi Shimbun and the Tokyo Shimbun strongly criticized the statue's removal, saying such threats are not acceptable or forgiveable.
A Japanese fan club made up of famous Japanese artists even requested that the statue remain on display.
The Korean artist who made the statue, Kim Un-seong , condemned the Japanese politicans for attacking freedom of expression.
In addition, two other Korean artists participating in the festival have asked the festival to no longer exhibit their own work, saying they don't want audiences to see their work in this kind of situation.
Last year, another comfort woman statue, about 10 centimeters high, was removed under pressure from Japan at Ravenbruck Memorial in Germany.
According to the Korean civic group known as Korea Verband, which gave the statue to the memorial in 2017, pressure to remove it came from the Japanese embassy.
Japan has ordered the removal of a comfort woman statue before, in 2012, when it called the placement of the statue a political act.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News.