OSAKA–Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura decided to end the 60-year sister-city relationship with San Francisco over a “comfort women” monument set up in the California city.
“Our relationship of trust was completely destroyed,” Yoshimura said Nov. 24. “I will dissolve the sister-city relationship.”
Yoshimura had asked San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee for a meeting about the monument, but the city declined the request by e-mail on Nov. 23. The e-mail said there is no room for discussion over the comfort women statue, according to an Osaka city official.
“Comfort women,” a euphemism for women forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers before and during World War II, has long been a sticking point in diplomatic relations between Japan and its neighbors in Asia.
The 3-meter-tall monument depicts three young women from the Korean Peninsula, China and the Philippines standing in a circle holding hands on a pedestal. A statue of an elderly Korean comfort …