〈English >Dear Mr. Stephan von Dassel Dear Mr. Stephan von Dassel  Berlin Mitte District Mayor




October 13, 2020


Dear Mr. Stephan von Dassel
Berlin Mitte District Mayor

 


We are citizens of Japan who support memorials for Japan’s Military “Comfort Women” such as the “Statue of Peace” (also known as "Statue of Girl"). We were very pleased to hear that the “Statue of Peace” was installed in a public location in Berlin because the Statue embodies not only the pain of the women who were victimized by Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery during the World War II, but their hope that this horrific crime would never happen to anyone in the world. The “Statue of Peace” has now become a symbol of hope to eradicate all forms of sexual violence and to promote peace.


However, we are shocked to learn that Mitte District has rescinded approval for the statue and demand its removal by October 14. Moreover, we feel embarrassed and exasperated with the fact that Japanese government had put pressure on the issue through expressing “regrets.” We believe that Japan as a perpetrator nation must confront, remember and educate about Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery as a historical lesson more than any other nation. Instead, Japanese government has been trying very hard to whitewash the history and remove the memorials dedicated to the victims all over the world.

 


The “Statue of Peace” is not a symbol of anti-Japan nor a source of tension between South Korea and Japan. If the statue is removed based on this misunderstanding, the women’s courage to speak about their unspeakable, unimaginable experience as former sex slaves and their hope to eradicate all forms of sexual violence and to promote peace will be in vain. Japanese government has repeatedly revictimized these women, and created tension between countries by attempting to erase the historical facts.

 


We believe that the path to peace is to reflect upon past atrocities, learn a lesson from them and build a brighter future. That is why we have always wanted to learn from your country, Germany’s efforts for reparation. You have continued to acknowledge, apologize, and learn from the crimes committed by the Nazi Party. We ask for your help so that Japan can follow in your footsteps to confront its inconvenient past and work toward a more peaceful and just world.

 


In doing so, we kindly ask you to:


1. Rescind your order to remove the “Statue of Peace”
2. Take necessary measures to protect the “Statue of Peace”




Japan Nationwide Action for the Resolution of the Japanese Military “Comfort Women” Issue

E-mail: i_zenkokukoudou@yahoo.co.jp
Tel: +81-80-7817-1236



**This appeal has been endorsed by 122 organizations and 1,913 individuals