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International relations

Japan art festival halts exhibition of 'comfort women' statue

Organizer received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes

Statue symbolising "comfort women" was withdrawn from  the Aichi Triennale 2019.   © Kyodo

NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- A major art festival in central Japan shut down Saturday one of its exhibits featuring a statue symbolizing "comfort women," who were forced to work in wartime Japanese military brothels, following a flurry of protests, the organizer said.

The decision came just three days after the opening of the 75-day festival at a time when tensions between Japan and South Korea have been escalating over wartime history and trade policy. The shutdown has also sparked controversy over freedom of expression.

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