Tensions linger in US over 'comfort women' plaques

Japan and America
Posted at 10:21 AM, Jan 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-30 05:41:06-05

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) - Four years ago, after noticing plaques at his local New Jersey county courthouse commemorating slavery, the Holocaust and other atrocities, a Korean-American community leader struck upon the idea of adding a tribute to the "comfort women" of World War II.

To Chejin Park's surprise, the gesture to honor the more than 200,000 mostly Korean and Chinese women forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers made the town a flashpoint in an international controversy.

Local officials rebuffed a request by Japanese officials to remove the first plaque put up just over two years ago in Palisades Park.

But now the dedication of a second marker at the courthouse whose memorials had inspired Park has been held up until the wording can be changed to remove a reference to the Japanese government.