The Hankyoreh, quoting Palisades Park city council chairman Jong Chul Lee, reports that police are investigating five members of a Japanese right-wing group for the Oct 27 desecration of a comfort women memorial.

The Hani also notes that if the suspects are arrested, they could be charged with a hate crime. Palisades Park mayor James Rotundo reportedly called it a hate crime, and “most experts” apparently share his opinion. An official with a Korean group in Palisades Park said the dominant opinion was that the incident was, at the very least, vandalism, but it was close to be a hate crime when you consider the historical relationship between Korea and Japan.

The Korean American Voters’ Council’s Kim Dong-suk said the statue was property of the US government, erected through the power of American citizens including the Korean-American community, and the attack was reckless criminal act attacking American citizens. He said punishing the offenders was important, but they also needed to hold the Japanese government, which is distorting and denying history, to account in the name of American civic society.

Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ) took some time off from (allegedly) banging hookers in the Dominican Republic to offer a couple of words about the comfort women statue attack as well.