Fight over monument at Palisades Public Library

July 12, 2012 2:42:45 PM PDT
A fight over a monument at a park in New Jersey.

The plaque recognizes Asian women forced into sex slavery during world war II.

It sits in front of the Palisades Park Library, but some people want it removed.

At the time, this small granite memorial nestled between the Palisades Park Public Library and a white stucco home was the only public acknowledgement those two were kidnapped and forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers during WWII.

Palisades Park may seem like an odd place to place a memorial for "comfort women," but the population is 53 percent Korean.

And it was erected after a civic organization searched for a place to put it. And also, after a Palisades Park artist went to visit the few surviving comfort women in South Korea in 2009, taking these pictures for a documentary.

"Our research says this happened....trying to say it didn't," said Mayor James Rotundo.

Mayor Rotundo says in May, a few members of the Japanese parliament paid him a visit.

"They specifically said it should come down," adds Rotundo.

In 2011 there was a comfort women protest in Seoul, part of a campaign demanding the Japanese Embassy take financially responsibility, but Japan says it has.

"The Japanese government did already admit it, the former government did. So I don't know why now? Why it's there," said Mina Yoshigaki, with the Japanese-American Society of New Jersey.

Now, those who want it down, have collected more than 32,000 signatures on an online petition. An online petition has over 7,000.

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