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Statue showing Japan PM Shinzo Abe bowing to 'comfort woman' on display in South Korea

Pyeongchang: South Korea's private botanic garden in the rural Pyeongchang county displayed statues that appears to depict Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, kneeling and bowing to a seated "comfort woman," a euphemism for women forced to work in Japan's wartime brothels.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said on Tuesday, July 28 if reports of the statue on display were true, it would be an "unforgivable" breach of international protocol. The head of a privately run botanic garden, Kim Chang-ryul, who commissioned the statue called "Eternal Atonement" said the kneeling figure was meant to depict anyone who could be in the position to apologise formally for the historic wrong, and not Abe in particular.

The issue of comfort women, mostly Koreans forced to work in Japan's brothels before and during World War Two, and the question of whether victims were adequately compensated have long been a thorn in ties between the two countries.

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