Comfort Women Lawsuit Dismissed


The lawsuit pertaining to the controversial “comfort women” memorial in downtown Glendale was dismissed late Monday by a federal judge.

According to the decision handed down by U.S. Central District of California Judge Percy Anderson, the monument does not violate the constitution as claimed in the lawsuit.

“Glendale’s placement of the Comfort Women monument in its Central Park does not pose the type of interference with the federal government’s foreign affairs powers that states a plausible claim for relief,” he wrote. “Instead, even according to the facts alleged in the Complaint, Glendale’s placement of the statue is entirely consistent with the federal government’s foreign policy.”

Anderson also said that the plaintiffs’ stated inability to use Central Park due to the distress caused by the statue is not directly caused by the city’s alleged violations.

But the judge left open the possibility that a lawsuit over claims that the statue’s inscription, which challenges Japan to apologize for its actions, was included without city council’s approval may be refiled in the future.

In a statement publicized later that day, the Global Alliance for Historical Truth (GAHT), a nonprofit organization and plaintiff in the case, decried the judge’s decision as “subjective,” adding that they planned to appeal.

The issue of the “comfort women” has been one of a number of sore points in Japan-Korea relations in the past few years.

Japan issued several apologies beginning in 1993 for the “comfort women” – women who were forced into sexual enslavement by the former Imperial Japanese Army. Attempts at compensation were dismissed by South Korea in the late 1990s. Since then, Japan has backed away from reparations, stating that all claims were covered by the signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations between both nations in 1965.

According to that treaty, any disputes regarding property and other claims are settled “completely and finally” by its signing.