Women's group asks Philippine leader to keep abuse statue

A women's group has asked Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's government to oppose any request by Japan to remove a newly erected monument honoring women who were forced to work in military brothels for Japanese forces during World War II.

The Gabriela women's group said Thursday that Duterte should instead demand an apology and compensation for Filipino women who were "conscripted by the Japanese Imperial Army to serve as wartime sex slaves."

The monument, unveiled last month along a public promenade by Manila Bay, features a bronze statue of a blindfolded Filipina in traditional gown.

A National Historical Commission marker says the monument was erected to memorialize Filipinas who fell victim to the abuses during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945.

Japanese officials did not immediately comment.