An 81-year-old man made the ultimate statement when he set himself ablaze during a protest in Seoul, South Korea, earlier today.
The demonstrators were calling on Japan to apologise to women who were forced into military sex slavery during World War Two.
The man, identified as Choi Hyun-yeol, survived the self-immolation stunt, as fellow protesters extinguished the flames with cloths and banners before he was rushed to hospital. Firefighters at the scene say he most likely doused himself with a flammable liquid before setting fire to himself.
Choi, whose father was reportedly a member of an anti-Japanese movement in 1932, is said to be in a critical condition with burns to his neck, face and upper torso.
The weekly protest calls for a formal apology from Japan, ahead of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s wartime occupation of Korea on Saturday.
Today’s protest drew a crowd of 2,000 demonstrators to join three of the 47 known surviving Korean ‘comfort women’ (as they were called by Japanese occupiers), organisers told ChannelNewsAsia.
One of the former comfort women, 86-year-old Gil Won-Ok has previously said an apology from Japan would allow her to die in peace.