She is depicted as a few years younger than many of them were when they were taken. For some, she is about the same age.
Frankly, this is brilliant. A simple statue that is a patient, ever-present, never-forgetting reminder. The surviving Comfort Women are in their eighties and nineties, and the Japanese government's strategy has been to just wait for them to die so the problem will go away.
Of course, the issue is not a simple one. There are questions as to whether the normalization treaty — which none of the women signed, of course — dismissed these women's legal claims. There's also questions as to whether the South Korean government of the Park Chunghee era, which took the bulk of loans and grants Japan offered and invested it in the development of the nation, owes them money as well.
There's also the question of whether any official thing that happened before the 1990s can be taken as compensation for the former Comfort Women, given that up to that point Tokyo had been vehemently denying any official involvement in the mobilization of these sex slaves.
But ultimately, the statue is not about that. Because even with a generous compensation package and a heart-felt expression of absolute apology (one that is not followed by right-wingers going "but but but"), this horrific action must be remembered. Forget lawyers and government accountants and political wranglers; it simply should not be allowed to die along with its victims.
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