Skip to menu


by AGNES CONSTANTE | NBC Asian American



▲ A mock up of a the proposed Atlanta comfort women memorial, which is modeled after an existing memorial in Seoul. Courtesy of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force.


A museum in Atlanta, Georgia, last week cancelled plans to install a memorial to "comfort women," the mostly Korean women who were forced into Japanese military-run brothels during World War II.


In a press conference last month, the Center for Civil and Human Rights announced that a statue would be installed in the spring. But last week, it sent a letter to the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force, a 26-member group spearheading the memorial effort, saying it could not install the statue because "permanent exterior fixtures were not part of the original design or any new strategic plan for the future of the Center for Civil and Human Rights."


"We are deeply disappointed and a little bit dismayed [with the cancellation]," Helen Ho, consultant and special adviser to the Task Force, told NBC News. "But on a positive note, it has attracted a wealth of public attention, support, and media coverage. If we had just been able to glide on through, I don't know if as many people in our region and in the nation would've known about the comfort women story."


During WWII, an estimated 200,000 women from countries including Korea, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines, were forced to serve Japanese soldiers in military-run brothels, according to research by the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.



▲ Members of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force with former Congressman Mike Honda following a February press conference announcing the memorial. Courtesy of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force


Ho said the purpose of the Task Force is to honor the history and lives of the girls and women and to raise discussion about ongoing sex trafficking.


Between the time that the press conference was held to the cancellation announcement last week, Ho said she learned that the Japanese consulate general met with various groups in Atlanta — including the Center — to dissuade them from supporting the memorial. She said one major concern was that Japanese businesses might leave Atlanta if the memorial was placed in the city.


Kristie Reymer, director of marketing and communications at the Center, told NBC News that there were multiple meetings and phone calls regarding the memorial statue that took place, including conversations with the Korean and Japanese consulate generals.


NBC News has reached out to the Japanese consulate in Atlanta for comment.


Because of the nature of the cancellation, Ho said she believes the decision was motivated by monetary and political reasons.


"They never told us in the six-month process of any kind of policy [about exterior fixtures]," she said.


Reymer said the statue was cancelled solely for logistical reasons and added that the Center is committed to and looks forward to working with the Task Force to spread awareness about comfort women.


"There were a number of complications associated with the statue … and as we did further review of how we could implement that in the community, that's where the roadblock came," Reymer said. "But we are committed to doing programming and internal exhibits to tell the story [of the comfort women] because it's very important. It is our mission to tell the story of those whose human rights have been violated."


The memorial statue that would have been placed at the Center is currently being made and the Task Force will now have to find another site to install it, according to Ho.


"We look forward to seeing new champions emerge that can breathe new life into our history and commitments to civil rights; where somebody can see the connection, injustice, discrimination, trauma, dismissal, silencing of the truth, slavery of certain groups, and see that connection with this global human rights tragedy," she said.


Comfort women memorials have been a contentious issue, with advocates arguing that the Japanese government has not issued an official apology for what happened during WWII, while opponents say there is no evidence to support that women were forced into sex slavery.


Other cities across the United States have installed memorial statues, including Palisades Park and Union City, New Jersey; Southfield, Michigan; Fairfax County, Virginia; and Glendale, California.


Last month, the city of San Francisco granted final approval for the installation of a comfort women memorial in September, following opposition, some of which was expressed by citizens from Japan. It is expected to become the first major U.S. city to install a memorial.

  1. Spa Castle Owners Arrested for Failing to Pay $1.5 Million in Taxes

    by Andy Tran | Cheif Editor | ▲ Victor Chon, (50, front left) and Steven Chon(57, back) The family owners of a popular spa destination in Carrollton have been indicted on felony charges for failure to pay $1.5 million ...
    Date2017.03.23 ByAsiaInDallas Views942
    Read More
  2. South Korean President Park Ousted!

    Court delivers unanimous verdict on impeachment of Park Geun-hye The Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, Friday, in a historic ruling to remove her from office over a corruption scandal involving her frien...
    Date2017.03.10 ByAsiaInDallas Views302
    Read More
  3. For all the women who’ve had a tough day at work!

    For all the women who’ve had a tough day at work, think of all the women in Korea. According to the OECD report, Korea ranked the worst in the gender wage gap among OECD countries. Well, Happy International Women's Day! Source: ww...
    Date2017.03.08 ByAsiaInDallas Views134
    Read More
  4. Atlanta Museum Cancels Planned ‘Comfort Women’ Memorial

    by AGNES CONSTANTE | NBC Asian American ▲ A mock up of a the proposed Atlanta comfort women memorial, which is modeled after an existing memorial in Seoul. Courtesy of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force. A museum in Atlanta, Georg...
    Date2017.03.08 ByAsiaInDallas Views357
    Read More
  5. Eating Alone In Korea Is The Newest Trend

    by In Korea, it’s more common to eat as groups of two or more than it is to eat alone, but a new trend is on the rise called ‘HONBAP’. ‘Honbap‘ is a combination of the Korean words for “al...
    Date2017.03.04 ByAsiaInDallas Views501
    Read More
  6. Jeannie Kim Becomes the New President for KAPN

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | ▲ (From left) James Mun (immediate past president), Rachel Nam (V.P. Communications), Jeannie Kim (President), Chase Park (V.P. Treasurer), Brian Park (Board Chair). Photo courtesy of Kore...
    Date2017.03.03 ByAsiaInDallas Views1548
    Read More
  7. Do Koreans Have Obsession with Fried Chicken?

    By Jason Strother | PRI | March 01, 2017 Korean fried chicken gives new meaning to the letters K-F-C. But, unlike Colonel Sanders’ original recipe, the ingredients are no secret. Some of the most popular marinades for South Korean-sty...
    Date2017.03.02 ByAsiaInDallas Views324
    Read More
  8. Asian Last Names Lead To Fewer Job Interviews, Still

    JENNY J. CHEN | NPR What's in a name? A lot, according to a new study from researchers at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, both in Canada. The study found that job applicants in Canada with Asian names — names of I...
    Date2017.02.23 ByAsiaInDallas Views354
    Read More
  9. Korean American Women’s Association of Dallas Makes 6,000 Dumplings

    The Korean American Women’s Association of Dallas (KAWAD) made over 6,000 Korean-style dumplings, known as Man-Doo, last Saturday, February 18th. Members of the KAWAD gathered at the Korean Culture Center of Dallas last Saturday after...
    Date2017.02.20 ByAsiaInDallas Views408
    Read More
  10. Elegant Beauty of Korean Hanbok

    Designer Carolina Herrera, South Korea Collaborate To ‘Reveal Elegant Beauty’ of Korean Hanbok by RUBY VERIDIANO | NBC Asian American FEB 17 2017, 5:00 PM ET The Republic of Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and...
    Date2017.02.20 ByAsiaInDallas Views688
    Read More
  11. Texas-Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce and Alliance Takes Off

    Texas-Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce and Alliance held its inaugural banquet at Asia Times Square in Grand Prairie last Sunday, in time for the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Frisco Mayor Maher Maso and Dallas County Republican Party Chair...
    Date2017.02.15 ByAsiaInDallas Views425
    Read More
  12. With ‘The Great Wall’ Comes Great Challenges as China’s Influence in Hollywood Grows

    by TRACI G. LEE | NBC Asia America It all began with five photos. Intended to tease what would end up becoming the largest U.S.-China co-production ever, Entertainment Weekly released the first look at "The Great Wall" last July, setting off...
    Date2017.02.14 ByAsiaInDallas Views458
    Read More
  13. Applications Now Open For Bush Institute’s North Korean Refugee Scholarship

    The George W. Bush Institute formally opened applications for the North Korea Freedom Scholarship Fund Monday, February 6. The North Korea Freedom Scholarship Fund is designed to help North Korean escapees pursue higher education and build ...
    Date2017.02.08 ByAsiaInDallas Views333
    Read More
  14. Ivy League Students Commits Suicide Again

    By Han Seo Seo | Columbia loses seven students in five months to suicide More than 1,000 students per year are taking their lives Yet another student at a prestigious university has taken his own life. In the month of January...
    Date2017.02.07 ByAsiaInDallas Views637
    Read More
  15. For Some, Trump’s Immigration Ban Parallels Past Anti-Asian Policies

    by CHRIS FUCHS | NBC Asian America For Tom Ikeda, a third-generation Japanese American, this past week seemed like 1924 all over again. That was the year the United States set immigrant quotas and banned immigration altogether for citizens ...
    Date2017.01.30 ByAsiaInDallas Views353
    Read More
  16. Asian Movies on the Upswing in North Texas

    ▲ Korean-American movie theater called Cine Oasis in Carrollton plays the latest movies from South Korea. Photo, courtesy of Jason Kim of Korean Society of Dallas. BY CARY DARLING When first arriving at the Cine O...
    Date2017.01.28 ByAsiaInDallas Views317
    Read More
  17. Students File to Join Harvard Lawsuit to Defend Race-Conscious Admissions

    Two Asian-American and Pacific Islander students have filed to participate as friends of the court in a case against Harvard University regarding its admissions program. by CHRIS FUCHS | NBCnews DEC 15 2016, 9:37 AM ET Jason Fong is an Asia...
    Date2016.12.15 ByAsiaInDallas Views205
    Read More
  18. Disney Launches Global Casting Search for Live-Action Mulan

    TRACI G. LEE | NBC NEWS Twenty years after the release of Disney's animated musical film "Mulan," the studio will be returning to the big screen with the story in a live-action 3D film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is sch...
    Date2016.10.04 ByAsiaInDallas Views393
    Read More
  19. DMN: H Mart offers to help with the Asian American Center planned for Dallas

    By Deborah Fleck Follow @debbiewfleck Staff Writer | Published: 19 September 2016 03:19 PM Efforts to build an Asian American Center in Dallas got a boost last Tuesday when H Mart executives announced plans to help. At...
    Date2016.09.20 ByAsiaInDallas Views164
    Read More
  20. Korea & U.S. to Exchange Taxpayers Information

    FATCA between U.S. and S. Korea is now ratified The United States and South Korea now have a preventative measure to deal with offshore tax evasion. South Korean and U.S. governments have finally ratified the Foreign Account Tax Compliance A...
    Date2016.09.14 ByAsiaInDallas Views77
    Read More
Board Pagination Prev 1 2 3 Next
/ 3