A bronze monument that honors wartime sex slaves in Central Park in Glendale will not be removed, according to KPCC.
Last week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that sued the city to remove the monument that honors ‘comfort women’ who were used by the military of Japan during World War II.
The statue is a Korean girl sitting next to an empty chair. It is the first monument to comfort women on the West Coast. New Jersey and Virginia have monuments to comfort women as well. They were constructed to raise awareness about the plight of women and to pressure the current Japanese government into apologizing for the military’s role.
Michiko Shiota Gingery and Global Alliance for Historical Truth were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They claim the city went outside of its bounds when it engaged in an international debate about the treatment of comfort women from the war. The complaint stated the following:
“Glendale has taken a position at odds with the expressed position of the Japanese Government.”
In the Kono Statement of 1993, a government official from Japan acknowledged the use of comfort women. United States District Court Judge Percy Anderson could not find merit in the claims made by the plaintiffs. They claimed that they were injured by visiting the park, where they did not feel comfortable because of the statue.
The attorney for Glendale, Michael Garcia, said that the city saw the “lawsuit as spurious so we’re glad the court decided not to find for the plaintiff.”
Sidley Austin assisted the city using pro bono work.
Phyllis Kim the executive director for the Korean American Forum of California, said, “Art speaks a thousand words. People come and they learn about this history and it’s a very strong testament to our petition to support human rights and women’s rights.”