The mayor of Osaka, Japan, says he's ending a six-decade 'sister city' relationship with San Francisco to protest a statue honoring women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura this week sent a letter to San Francisco announcing he's withdrawing from the largely ceremonial relationship.
The statue was erected on city property last year by California's Korean, Chinese and Filipino communities.
'It is unfortunate that Mayor Yoshimura no longer wishes to maintain ties between the governments of San Francisco and Osaka,' said Jeff Cretan, a spokesperson for Mayor London Breed, to the San Francisco Examiner. 'However, we will remain sister cities via the people-to-people ties maintained by our San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Committee and their counterparts in Osaka.'
Lillian Sing, co-chair for the Comfort Women Justice Coalition, called the decision 'outrageous' and 'absurd.'
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, file photo, people move in to take a closer look at the 'Comfort Women' monument after it was unveiled in San Francisco. The mayor of Osaka, Japan says he is withdrawing his