MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A statue honoring women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War II has been quietly removed from a busy seaside promenade in the Philippine capital, angering women's groups.
Manila City Hall says the bronze statue of a blindfolded Filipina, unveiled alongside Manila Bay in December, will be returned once drainage work is completed. It gave no time frame for the project, alarming activists who suspect that the Japanese government pressured the Philippines to take the monument down.
Japan's Cabinet minister expressed regret over the construction of the monument in January. According to Kyodo News service quoting the Japanese Embassy in Manila, the Philippine government had notified the embassy of its intention to remove the statue.