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Community reacts to vandalism on Japanese feature at Peace Gardens

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 23:48:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the community are upset after the Japan-themed sculpture at the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City was defaced with spray paint.

The gardens, which are part of a city park located along the Jordan River, feature sculptures representing dozens of countries.

Trey Imamura, the co-president of the Salt Lake Japanese American Citizens League, recently saw that Japan's piece in the sculpture garden was vandalized with red paint — with part of it being defaced with "F*** OFF."

The incident was reported to police, and Imamura has also been in contact with the Asian Link Project:

"Racism, small or big, does not get to be decided by the perpetrators and even viewers. It is sometimes popular preference to do nothing which allows majority it doesn’t affect to compound the problem of racism and ugliness," Asian Link Project posted on Instagram. "This is where our organization and many others step in. We have a lot of leaders with a lot of energy to ring a bell on these things and change this toxic culture. We’re not getting comfortable with this anytime soon."

SLC Councilman Dennis Faris, who represents the district where the park is located, also gave a statement in response to the vandalism.

"I want to personally express my love and support for the Japanese American community. As a Hispanic man, and a minority as well, I find this crime to be particularly offensive," Faris said. "District 2 is a diverse community, and there is no room for hate like this. I stand with our Asian community and firmly denounce this vandalism. The International Peace Garden is a space specifically designed to be inclusive to all of our community members, and an attack against one is an attack against all."

SLC Police confirmed to FOX 13 that they are investigating the vandalism. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the department at (801) 799-3000.