A South Korean rammed his light truck into the main gate of Japan’s embassy in Seoul early Monday in protest at an earlier demonstration in the city by a rightwing Japanese activist, police said.
No one was hurt in the incident just before 5am (2000 GMT) and police on guard at the mission detained the 61-year-old driver, identified by his surname Kim. The gate was pushed back but no other damage was reported.
Kim told police he was protesting against the actions of the visiting Japanese activist last month.
“I tried to protest against the Japanese man’s setting up of the post at the girl statue that represents comfort women,” he was quoted as saying.
The bronze statue of a young girl, across the road from Japan’s embassy, symbolises the plight of Korean “comfort women” forced to work in Japanese military brothels in World War II.
The Japanese activist, Nobuyuki Suzuki, set up a stake next to the statue reaffirming Japan’s claim to islands disputed with South Korea.
He later posted a video clip on his blog showing him setting up the stake and calling the “comfort women” prostitutes.
A group of 10 local women forced into wartime sexual slavery filed a defamation suit with Seoul prosecutors against Suzuki.
Tokyo has rejected talks on compensating Korean women used as wartime sex slaves.