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Hopes for thaw in Japan ties

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Seoul, Tokyo should make efforts to restore relations

Japan has decided to return a South Korean-made statue symbolizing "comfort women" to an art exhibition in Nagoya after its abrupt withdrawal drew a strong backlash from artists around the world.

The decision, although late, is a step in the right direction. It proves that an earlier decision to withdraw the statue from the Aichi Triennale 2019 was politically motivated amid worsening ties with South Korea. But politics is politics and art is art. It was wrong for the Japanese government to threaten freedom of expression due to a political issue.

The statue was on display as part of the "After Freedom of Expression?" section at the art festival. But it was removed just days after the exhibition opened Aug. 1.........

© The Korea Times