Glendale city defends approval of "comfort women" memorial in lawsuit

The city authority of Glendale, southern California, requested a court Friday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Japanese-American citizens in February over a statue honoring wartime sex slaves erected in a public park.

In the notice of motion, the city defended its decision to allow Korean-Americans to erect the memorial to wartime sex slaves of the Imperial Japanese Army, saying such approval is in line with "the city's exercise of its rights of free speech."

In the lawsuit, two Japanese-Americans and a non-profit educational group asked the U.S. federal court in the District of Central California to order Glendale to remove the statue.

They claimed the city does not have the authority to involve itself in an international dispute and has infringed the constitutional power of the federal government to set foreign policy.

They also said the inscription on the memorial violates the municipal code because the language used was not approved by the city council.