Statue symbolizing 'comfort women' appears on Italian island

A statue symbolizing those referred to as wartime comfort women has been unveiled on the Italian island of Sardinia, prompting Japan's embassy to express concerns.

A civic group, which had donated the statue, says the sculpture was erected earlier this month in the town of Stintino, after the town granted permission.

The statue was unveiled on Saturday.

The group says this is the second such statue placed in a public space in Europe, following one in the German capital of Berlin.

Local authorities say the statue commemorates "the victims of atrocities perpetrated during World War Two," and was donated with the intent to raise awareness of women's rights globally.

The Japanese embassy in Italy says it is explaining Japan's stance to various related parties, conveying its strong concerns and asking for appropriate measures to be taken.