Japan’s ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine returned to Tokyo on Monday over a controversial statue erected outside its consulate in Busan city, officials said.
The Japanese government decided to temporarily recall him and another diplomat to protest the installation of the statue symbolising comfort women — women who were forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II, public broadcaster
Nagamine told the media that it was extremely regrettable that the statue has been placed in front of the building.
Japan is calling on South Korea to remove the statue, saying it runs counter to a 2015 bilateral agreement.
The agreement says the countries will settle the issue of comfort women finally and irreversibly.
However, South Korean officials have not announced any concrete measures to address the issue of the statue.
A similar statue was also installed in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.