Following threats from ultra-right Japanese protesters and pressure from the Japanese government,… the comfort women statue at the 2019 Aichi Triennale international contemporary art festival was pulled out just three days after the festival's opening.
But the exhibition starring the statue will resume from Tuesday and run through the end of the festival on October 14th.
The agreement to return the statue came during a hearing at the Nagoya District Court, held as part of mediation after a demand was filed in mid-September,… seeking a court injunction to reopen the collection.
Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, who is also the chairman of the festival's organizing committee, agreed to four conditions as necessary for the reopening.
They include cooperating with security measures, implementing a pre-reservation system and limiting visitors to 30 people per time slot.
The exhibition will also need to provide visitors with an interim report on the background explaining the closure of the art show.
Upon hearing the news, Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura criticized the agreement,… saying it was outrageous to showcase political works at an art festival hosted by the city and other public entities.
The mayor previously sparked outrage when he demanded the exhibition be shut down, arguing the statue could give the impression that Japan accepted South Korea's claim that the women were forcibly taken by the Japanese military during the war.
Ironically, two weeks ago, Japan's Cultural Affairs Agency withdrew a grant for the festival worth approximately 720-thousand U.S. dollars,… saying the Aichi government had failed to provide necessary information when applying for the subsidy.
The back and forth over the comfort women statue has been a sticking point in South Korea-Japan relations, which have recently deteriorated to a low not seen in years due to disputes over trade and compensation for wartime forced labor.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.