‘Comfort women’ statues in buses to honour former sex slaves

‘Comfort women’ statues in buses to honour former sex slaves

Buses serving several routes in central Seoul have acquired a new and highly controversial passenger: a barefoot “comfort woman”, wearing a traditional hanbok dress with her hands resting on her knees.

Appearing on the front seat of buses in the South Korean capital earlier this week, the statues were installed by the Dong-A Transit company as a potent reminder of an unresolved wartime atrocity whose roots lie in Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula.

The term “comfort women” is a euphemism for as many as 200,000 girls and young women, mostly from the Korean peninsula, who were coerced into working in Japanese frontline brothels before and during the second world war.

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