Last month, Japanese officials visited Palisades Park, a suburban enclave across the Hudson River from New York City, with a curious request: they wanted the town to remove a small plaque in front of the public library.
In 2010, Palisades Park installed a memorial to the thousands of Korean women and girls that were enslaved by the Japanese during World War II.
The town says that it is the first such dedication to the so-called ‘Comfort Women’ and refused the Japanese officials’ request, igniting a decades long quest to raise awareness of the victims’ plight.
‘They’re helping us, actually,’ said Chejin Park, a lawyer at the Korean American Voters’ Council, to the New York Times. ‘We can increase the awareness of this issue.’
The plaque is the first of its kind in the country to commemorate the abuses Korean women suffered in the Japanese ‘comfort stations’ during World War II, according to Bergen News.