People in South Korea and Taiwan unveiled monuments and staged protests on Tuesday to mark Japan’s wartime use of “comfort women”, a euphemism for girls and women forced to work in Japan’s wartime brothels. “My hope is that this issue will not lead to a diplomatic dispute between South Korea and Japan. I also do not think that this will be solved by a bilateral diplomatic solution,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in commemoration of the day.
Neither side is showing signs of wanting to ease a quarrel that flared when Canada’s foreign minister criticized the recent arrests of 11 prominent rights activists in Saudi Arabia. “We should not apologize, and we should be ready to accept further retaliation from Riyadh,” wrote Jim Warren, a columnist for the Toronto Sun.
“When we consider Canadian values versus Saudi Arabian values, we must stand up for what is right and for what we believe in. This will require sacrifices. Doing the right thing sometimes costs you something.”
Information Minister Hasanul Hoque Inu said police had acted with restraint and that both the United States and the United Nations had overstepped the line with their criticism.
“We urge to withdraw this statement. This is discourteous,” Hoque said of the U.S. statement, adding the government would write to the embassy and the United Nations to register its protest.
“We came here to tell the entire Israeli nation, with all of the Israeli people, that this country is for all of us,” retired Brig. Gen. Amal Assad who spearheaded the Druze campaign against the legislation. “We were born here, we will die here, we love this country, we have defended it, and we will continue to live here together — Jews, Arabs, Druze, Circassians, Bedouins, as equal brothers.
“We are all Israelis,” he said.
The violence continued Sunday with police firing tear gas into a large crowd marching toward an office of the ruling Awami League party, an AFP correspondent said. Hasina warned Sunday that a “third party” could sabotage the protests and put the safety of demonstrators at risk.
“That’s why I request all guardians and parents to keep their children at home. Whatever they have done is enough,” Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.
A crowd estimated at more than 10,000 attended a protest in Moscow that was called by the Communist Party. A similarly large crowd gathered in Yekaterinburg to protest and demonstrations also were reported Saturday in large cities including Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd. No arrests were immediately reported.
“If the retirement age is increased, every citizen of Russia will be robbed for more than a million rubles ($16,000) and it is unacceptable,” activist Sergei Udaltsov said at the Moscow demonstration.