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Osaka to Cut Sister-City Ties with San Francisco

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Osaka will no longer use taxpayer funds for student and other exchange programs with San Francisco. The sister-city ties started in 1957.

OSAKA (Jiji Press) — Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura indicated Friday that the city will decide in mid-December to sever its six-decade-old sister-city relationship with San Francisco over a girl statue symbolizing so-called comfort women erected in the U.S. city.

Senior Osaka municipal government officials will make the official decision at their meeting on or after Dec. 12, when the Osaka city assembly’s current session ends, and notify San Francisco of the outcome in writing, he told reporters in the Osaka Prefecture capital.

“The high-level relationship of trust between the two cities has collapsed” following the installation of the statue, Yoshimura said. “It will be a plus for Osaka to dissolve the sister-city relationship, rather than continuing it while the statue remains in place.”

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Osaka will no longer use taxpayer funds for student and other exchange programs with San Francisco, Yoshimura added. The sister-city ties started in 1957.

The term comfort women refers to those, mainly Koreans, who were allegedly forced into prostitution for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee on Wednesday decided to accept the donation of the statue, which was set up by a private group of Chinese Americans in September, so the statue is set to become a property owned by the city government.

Yoshimura had sought a meeting with Lee, but he gave up the idea after San Francisco informed Osaka on Thursday that there was no room for negotiations or discussions on the statue … (read more)

via The Japan News

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