The Statue of Peace was established in September 2020 at the intersection of Birkenstraße and Bremer straße in Berlin’s Borough of Mitte, led by the Korea Verband, a Korean-related civil organization. This is the third time that the Statue of Peace was installed in Germany, and it is the first time to be installed in a public place.
The Statue of Peace is not a diplomatic issue between Korea and Japan. It is of great significance because it criticizes the abuse of power as well as wartime sexual violence against women worldwide, and it contains values such as peace and gender equality. However, there is the only country in the world that strongly opposes this image of the Statue of Peace. It is Japan.
After the installment of the Statue of Peace in Berlin, the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said “I feel extremely disappointing of the installment of the Statue of Peace on the streets of Berlin”.
He also said “We know that the unveiling ceremony was held in downtown Berlin, and we will make an effort to remove it.” The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu called for the removal of the statue in a phone call with the German counterpart Heiko Maas.
Due to the Japanese government’s relentless pressure on the German government, the Borough of Mitte suddenly revoked the permit to install the Statue of Peace on October 7th and ordered its removal by October 14th.
We are enraged with the German government and Borough of Mitte’s decision to allow the removal of the Statue of Peace under the Japanese government’s pressure.
The statue is not a diplomatic issue between Korea and Japan, which the Japanese government has claimed as a cause for the removal.
The Statue of Peace symbolizes the universal human rights issue, and it is the aspiration and desire of all people around the world to hope that the issue of sexual violence against women in war will not be reproduced on this land again in the 21st century.
Above all, Germany had set an example for the international community with sincere reflection on Nazi war crimes.
The German President, Chancellor, Foreign Minister have set an example for the international community with sincere reflection on Nazi war crimes. Through this, even though Germany was a perpetrator of war, but through solving and settling the history of the Nazis, Germany is highly being respected and admired by many young people around the world, including Koreans.
However, the German government’s attempt to remove the Statue of Peace is a betrayal of the faith and trust of people all around the world. Above all, VANK believes that German government’s acceptance of the removal of the Statue of Peace through the Japanese government’s lobby is to deny the responsibility and reflection on the history of aggression that Germany has shown to the international community.
Therefore, we want to prevent the 21st century German government, which should take the lead in settling and clearing Japanese war crimes, from being used as an exoneration to justify aggression and hide war crimes by Japan.
Please raise your voice against the policy of accepting the removal of the Statue of Peace by the Borough of Mitte and the German government!
Please make complaint to the German government to join internationally publicizing the war crimes of Japanese imperialism, the same as those of Nazis!