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Sex slaves statue 'promotes animosity'

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016

The Japanese community says a Sydney statue erected in memory of the sex slaves of Japan's World War II army promotes animosity.

The Australia-Japan Community Network has lodged a complaint under section 18C of the federal racial discrimination act against the memorial, backed by the Ashfield Uniting Church.

"We have a numerous number of reasons to believe this statue has been promoted as a political tool, causing unnecessary animosity and division to local communities," the group's president Tetsuhide Yamaoka said in a statement.

Mr Yamaoka said the network should be kept somewhere private and discreet "so that people who are interested can visit but still we can minimise the risk of causing unnecessary harm to the local community".

The network claims to have explained its position to Reverend Bill Crews, who agreed to host the statue at the church, for the past six months.

"However, so far our concerns have been flatly ignored. Hence we are forced to take a more formal action."

Despite the complaint, Reverend Crews won't be removing the memorial.

"I just find it outrageous ... bring it on," he told ABC TV.

Liberal MP and former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson said the fresh complaint under section 18C shows why that law needed to change.

"It is a classic example of what happens when you have a test that sets too low a threshold, where people seek to use the law to resolve their differences of opinion about matters that might offend or insult a different section of the community," he told ABC TV.

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