A “comfort woman” display in Japan was halted after a tiny bomb device was placed in a box.
According to Citizen’s Gallery Sakae in Nagoya, a staff member opened the box at 9:35 a.m. on Thursday, and a firecracker inside burst. According to Kyodo News, no injuries were recorded.
Local officials sought a temporary evacuation of the structure, according to the group sponsoring the display, which includes a statue. Following the event, organisers were compelled to wait outside the gallery, and the exhibit did not begin at 10 a.m. as planned.
The city of Nagoya has ordered the gallery to close, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The exhibit in Nagoya opened Tuesday after much controversy, which forced other venues in Tokyo and Osaka to postpone similar shows.
The Nagoya exhibit was expected to continue through Sunday, but the gallery has been the target of protests. Far-right demonstrators used loudspeaker-equipped vans to disrupt the event. according to Channel A on Tuesday.
The statue of a Korean teenager in traditional dress, symbolizing the women victims forced to service Japanese wartime brothels, also became a flashpoint in 2019 at the Aichi Triennale.
Demonstrators two years ago threatened to set the exhibition hall on fire with gasoline, prompting organizers to cancel the exhibit after only three days.
The suspension of the show in 2019 prompted civic groups and artists to condemn the action. Some activists took legal action, according to Yonhap.
Japan’s far-right was planning to hold a rival exhibit in Nagoya this month, but the event is likely to be canceled in light of the recent incident at Citizen’s Gallery as investigations are ongoing, reports said.
Tokyo and Seoul have failed to resolve historical disputes after South Korea shuttered a foundation to compensate comfort women. Pressure from activists and former victims forced Seoul to close the fund in 2019.