Seoul held the unveiling ceremony for the new memorial statue on Namsan Mountain on Wednesday afternoon.
The commemorative statue was unveiled on the Memorial Day for Comfort Women just 20-meters from the former site of a Joseon Shrine.
At the special event, around 2-hundred people including Lee Yong-soo, the youngest victim still alive, gathered to see this reminder of Japan's historical atrocities.
" 92 . "
"I am 92 this year, the perfect age to live my life and perfect to receive an apology from Abe"
These statues are the work of American sculptor Steven Whyte, the creator of the comfort women memorial that was erected in San Francisco two years ago. And all the production and shipping expenses for the statue were covered by a non-profit foundation based in California.
"As you can see, it doesn't look like most of the comfort women statues that we know. The statue portrays three girls,… one each from Korea, China and the Philippines, holding hands and staring towards an iconic figure who first revealed Japan's past wrongdoings."
The three girls are looking at the late Kim Hak-sun,… a former comfort woman, who first publicly testified in 1991 about Japan operating an organized military brothel program during the War.
A city official explained that the statue has some distinctive features,… in that it was built low to the ground and that it is only completed when someone steps up to join hands with the three girls,… hoping that the comfort women issue won't feel as distant to visitors.
The statue does not have a name,… as it is left for the public to decide for themselves.
And some of the visitors at the site pitched their creative ideas for the statue's name.
“Her story is still I-N-G, 0814”, because we think the comfort women issue is an ongoing problem that has yet to be solved. I also wanted to add 0814 to remember today."
“With her, Hak-soon”,… because Kim Hak-soon was the first comfort woman to give her testimony about Japan's wartime slavery. We wanted to let them know that we are with them by naming the statue "With her, Hak-soon"
For those of who would like to suggest a name for the statue, please submit an application via email by end of November. The form can be downloaded from the website of the Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.
The winning name will be selected in December.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.