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Uniqlo halts advertisement after being accused of mocking wartime sexual slavery victims Updated: 2019-10-21 16:07:26 KST

Uniqlo's latest advertisement has been criticized in South Korea for allegedly ridiculing victims of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement, the so-called "comfort women".
South Koreans denounced the commercial, saying it intends to make a political statement because there was a difference in meaning when the comments in English were translated into Korean.
The advertisement displays a 98-year-old fashion icon and a 13-year-old fashion designer having a conversation in English in which the younger designer compliments the older one by asking how she used to dress when she was her age.
The older designer replies "I can't remember that far back".
However, when that sentence was translated into Korean, it became "How can I remember what happened more than 80 years ago?"
Critics claim the addition of "80 years ago" in the Korean subtitles was intended to ridicule South Korea's calls for Japan to apologize for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during the Second World War.
Uniqlo denied the allegations although it decided to halt airing the advertisement amid the growing outrage by South Koreans.
In a statement released on Sunday, Uniqlo Korea said the ad was not intended to have any political motive but rather the subtitles were meant to highlight their age difference.
Some 200-thousand women, mostly Korean were forced into sexual slavery or hard labor under Japan's colonial rule from 1910 to 1945.
Meanwhile, Uniqlo, which has taken a beating from South Korea's boycott of Japanese goods and services, has seen its sales nosedive.
According to industry data on South Korea's credit card spending, Uniqlo's sales in September plummeted by roughly 75 percent on-year.
Uniqlo's sales figures for the last week of September in South Korea plunged to about 2 million dollars from 8 million dollars last year.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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