politics

Japan protests unified Korea Olympic flag with disputed isles

28 Comments
By KIM DOO-HO

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Oh, the utter ridiculousness. At least they hit all the right meaningless vocabulary: sovereignty, extremely regrettable, unacceptable.

About the only thing missing was 'correct interpretation of history.'

2 ( +14 / -12 )

Oh...bugger off Suga...maybe if you closed that silly museum ( another waste of our tax money ) or at least pretend you might look into it you might have had some moral high ground on this. Yes, its all so " unacceptable and regrettable to read about this after yesterday reading the headline about Abe planning to ask Moon for " co operation " in the event of contingency on the Korean peninsula and today planning to ask SK to not scale down their war exercises with the US just so that Abe can appear as the tough guy to his domestic voters.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Give it a rest for christ sake, Japan. Are you really going to destroy the friendly Korean sentiment by pointing out errors in their unification flag, whose errors by the way only applies for you Japan.

Are these islands worth more for you, than a world where North and South Koreans can enjoy and thrive together? That's just the ultimate cynical and Machiavellian stance I've seen. You even colonized Korea, and yet again you are claiming their areas!? Abe, calm down and just see the world pass on for a slight second without your stupid involvement.

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

unsportsmanlike conduct by Korea! save the geopolitics for after the games,,,

0 ( +14 / -14 )

SK is a joke and Japan should no longer engage them or consider them legitimate. They keep bringing up their prostitutes even though that non-issue was settled decades ago. Unfortunately SK's fate is sealed in the upcoming Korea War, so these lashings out are to be expected from them

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Aw, but that blue spot is about the only thing Koreans can agree about!

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Japan needs to put SDF and a unit of the allied so called strong alliance US forces on that island. The US supports both countries but these days SK seems more supportive of China with Moon in power.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

In the real diplomatic world :

Protest noted. Bye bye.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

i wish there was a better picture with a higher resolution of the “joint” flag accompanying the article. The only prominent island depicted is Jeju located SW of the pennisula.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wonder if N. Korea purposely designed the unified Korea flag with the inclusion of the Islands in order to orchestrate this exact predictable response from Japan.... the aim of which ?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Protest against peace. Nice one abe.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Remember how Japan's claim to the Senkakus depends mainly on the argument that their occupation of the islands. Well, how do you explain that South Korea's occupation of the Dokdos does not entitle Korea to claim ownership of the islands?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

The South Koreans didn't see North Korea is a threat, instead under President Moon policy of appeasement the Communist Korea he sees Japan is a threat. Sure he understood such a flag with Dokdo included will irritating Japan but he just doesn't cares at all. The leaders in Peking were laughing loudly at that so called democracy alliance in North East asia! Very embarassing indeed.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

In case you wonder about Japan's reaction: Japan is forced to do so if they don't want to lose entitlement on Takeshima. Both countries have their story but South Korea occupies the islands, Japan held back not to start a new war. Nevertheless the claim persists. If they don't renew this claim regularly, they could lose it.

Japan wants to have this matter settled by the ICJ but South Korea refrains to do so. In their oppinion there is no problem. Quite the contrary for SK, keeping up the situation is useful, since always pointing out the islands on commercials, weather forecasts, etc. Japan must react and this is what South Korea wants! It's a perfect way to deviate from domestic politics and aborad it looks like Japan is still the aggressor.

To my knowledge, Japan agreed on respecting an ICJ rule, so it's up to South Korea to finally finish this blame game: Accept Japan's offer to settle this by the ICJ. But do you want to?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

This is a little confusing. There are 3 "Unification Flags" which have been used off and on since the 1990 Asian Games.

One has only Jeju. Another has Jeju and Ulleungdo. And another has Jeju, Ulleungdo and Dokdo / Takeshima.

From the photo it looks like they are using the first with only Jeju, which I heard was the official stance.

Maybe a late change.

Anyone know for sure?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The "Flags of the World" website shows the Juju and Ulleungdo variants, but not Dokdo/Takeshima. There is a mark in the photo that might be a "blue dot" just to the right of the shadow at centre right, which could be Ulleungdo. If Dokdo/Takeshima was on this flag, and drawn to scale, it would be invisible, and thousands of other Korean islands would have to be shown too. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga should know this.

If Dokdo/Takeshima was shown, and visible, on this flag, it would have to be greatly enlarged. Or, as it is known in politics "blown up out of all proportion".

Personally, living within range of a Taepodong, I would think that handing over Takeshima to Koreans in return for a peacefully unified peninsula would be a deal worth making. Suga and Abe should make that offer.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

dcog: "SK is a joke and Japan should no longer engage them or consider them legitimate."

He says, on the very day Japan asks SK to keep up their drills, and asks them for protection in the event of war breaking out during the Olympics, which they certainly won't boycott despite the flag. :)

"They keep bringing up their prostitutes even though that non-issue was settled decades ago."

It's never been settles, obviously, especially since Japan keeps denying it and claiming it is propaganda and nothing else -- something I'm sure you agree with. And it's always amusing the way you guys say, "B-b-b-b-ut it's different!" if the issue is the "decades old" Atomic bombings or kidnappings of Japanese citizens; then it needs to be raised constantly.

bjohnson: "Japan needs to put SDF and a unit of the allied so called strong alliance US forces on that island."

You guys crack me up. First, the islands are lived on and administered by Koreans, with a military presence there. If the SELF DEFENSE force tried to move in the islands it would literally be an invasion, and a military attack (not defense, for that matter), and it would not at all be allowed or defended by the US military. Like it or not it is SK's sovereign territory, and the US has formally recognized that SK administers it, something which drove Japan ballistic some years back.

"The US supports both countries but these days SK seems more supportive of China with Moon in power."

No, you just don't like either, and so think they are somehow more cooperative in your mutual dislike. Admittedly they haven't gone out of their way to make them more entrenched enemies like Japan has done with Abe's "isolation tour".

In any case, Abe can protest against peace all he likes -- he has already said he wants to further isolate NK and doesn't want peace with them, and still pushes to change article 9 and buy more weapons. His policies have put Russian planes on the Kuriles now, as well.

If Abe truly feels it is unacceptable, how about pulling Japan out of Olympics in a show of protest? No? Thought not. Instead Abe wants to go and derail not only this slight thaw in relations, but to make the Olympics the stage to bring up sexual slavery and how they already tried to pay SK off.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

A_cross: "Personally, living within range of a Taepodong, I would think that handing over Takeshima to Koreans in return for a peacefully unified peninsula would be a deal worth making."

Ummm... they own and live on it. How would it be "handed over" to them, exactly? Japan has zero to deal with in regards to peace in the peninsula. In fact, Abe is pushing AGAINST it to further his agenda on the Constitution and weapons building.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I forgot to mention as well, Japan has absolutely no ground to stand on given they just opened their "National Sovereignty Museum" or whatever its called claiming everything under the sun belongs to Japan, and doing it publicly just before the Pyeong Chang Olympics.

Japan can cry about this all it wants, but when the Rising Sun flag is met with a few cheers here and there, the unification flag, with Dokdo on it, will be met with a standing ovation and a deafening roar of approval. I think that's what's going to hurt the most for some here.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The flag in question is the Olympic Team flag for NK and SK jointly. Therefore if Japan has a problem with this Team Flag they should be protesting to the IOC, not SK, as it is under IOC jurisdiction.

Frankly, I think that Japan (who will be hosting the Olympics themselves in 2020) should know better than to involve politics into the Olympic games.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

gaijintraveller: "Remember how Japan's claim to the Senkakus depends mainly on the argument that their occupation of the islands. Well, how do you explain that South Korea's occupation of the Dokdos does not entitle Korea to claim ownership of the islands?"

B-b-b-b-b-ut it's different! That's what they like to say. It's also different when they say "there is no dispute and no need to go to the ICJ over the Senkakus" but cry and scream about the fact that SK says there is no dispute and no need to go to the ICJ over Dokdo.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"smithinjapan Feb. 5  11:45 pm JST"

"A_cross: "Personally, living within range of a Taepodong, I would think that handing over Takeshima to Koreans in return for a peacefully unified peninsula would be a deal worth making."

"Ummm... they own and live on it. How would it be "handed over" to them, exactly? Japan has zero to deal with in regards to peace in the peninsula. In fact, Abe is pushing AGAINST it to further his agenda on the Constitution and weapons building."

Sorry, Smith san, I was thinking ahead. In political negotiations, you can "give" something you don't own to someone who can claim receiving it as a major concession. Furthermore, if by some chance Abe and Suga followed my advice, they could refute any and all claims on Takeshima by saying "hey, we offered to give it back, but Kim and Moon didn't unify their peninsula peacefully, so we aren't going to talk about it until they do."

Either way, do you see a Takeshima-sized dot on the Reunification Flag?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@bjohnson23

Japan needs to put SDF and a unit of the allied so called strong alliance US forces on that island.

No can do. The Liancourt Rocks is a heavily travelled travel destination packed with tourists, including Japanese.

The ROK's territorial claim on the Liancourt Rocks is so ironclad that the islands are open to tourists from all around the world all year around weather permitting, even to Japanese. It is the Japanese government that urges Japanese to not visit the Liancourt Rocks. 

This is in contrast with Japan's claims on the Diaoyu Islands, which is so shakey that Japanese government has banned Japanese civilians from landing on the Diaoyu Islands.

So by sending SDF, you mean a war and Japan doesn't want to do this, because the military might of the present ROK is such that Tsushima is expected to fall to the ROK marines in a day and even parts of Kyushu is threatened. The SDF already ran the invasion simulation and concluded that Japan would come out worse than before under all scenarios, hence a military solution has been ruled out.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@saitamaliving

If they don't renew this claim regularly, they could lose it.

Japan doesn't have a valid claim to begin with.

To my knowledge, Japan agreed on respecting an ICJ rule, so it's up to South Korea to finally finish this blame game: Accept Japan's offer to settle this by the ICJ.

So if the ROK claims the island of Honshu, would Japan accept the ROK challenge at the ICJ? Or would Japan's rightwingers consider accepting such a challenge an insult since it questions the sovereignty of Honshu?

Japan would refuse the ICJ challenge since accepting it would be an insult.

Same thing with the Liacourt Rocks, the ROK won't accept it because accepting would be an insult.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

@Samit Basu

So if the ROK claims the island of Honshu, would Japan accept the ROK challenge at the ICJ?

Maybe after asking SK to see a doctor about this claim they could say yes, for the fun of it. The Liancourt Rocks are officially disputed, anyone arguing otherwise is blind as a bat. SK is obviously scared of losing the case.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan held back not to start a new war. Nevertheless the claim persists. If they don't renew this claim regularly, they could lose it... To my knowledge, Japan agreed on respecting an ICJ rule, so it's up to South Korea to finally finish this blame game: Accept Japan's offer to settle this by the ICJ. But do you want to?

But Japan already doesn't have it! w And bringing up the ICJ is just more transparently hypocritical silliness, since Japan refuses to refer the matter of the Diaoyu Islands to that vaunted body.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

slowguy2Today 04:20 am JST

*Japan held back not to start a new war. Nevertheless the claim persists. If they don't renew this claim regularly, they could lose it... To my knowledge, Japan agreed on respecting an ICJ rule, so it's up to South Korea to finally finish this blame game: Accept Japan's offer to settle this by the ICJ. But do you want to?*

But Japan already doesn't have it! w And bringing up the ICJ is just more transparently hypocritical silliness, since Japan refuses to refer the matter of the Diaoyu Islands to that vaunted body.

Japan doesn't "refuse" to bring the Senkakus to the ICJ. Why should they when they already control it? It is CHINA that must bring it up since they are the ones making a claim but they refuse to do so because that would open up a can of worms for China which has multiple territorial disputes with other countries. Furthermore China has a problem accepting ruling by International Judicial bodies determining issues of Chinese sovereignty, as evidenced by their response to the tribunal ruling on the South China Sea.

When the Syngman Rhee line was arbitrarily drawn up in 1952, it was an alarmed United States that urged Japan to quickly file a claim with the ICJ. But South Korea refused and now they have been asked and refused 3 times. Clearly south Korea has zero confidence in it's own claim, otherwise they would go settle this issue at the ICJ and put t to rest for good. There is zero parallel between the Takeshima and Senkaku issues. Hope this helps.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@saitamaliving

Maybe after asking SK to see a doctor about this claim they could say yes,

Then Abe should have his head examined by a third party mental doctor before making a claim on the Liancourt Rocks.

The Liancourt Rocks are officially disputed,

It is not outside of Japan.

SK is obviously scared of losing the case.

Korea already ran a secret mock trial with the evidence they have in Europe with European legal experts. It was concluded that Korea stood on a 99% chance of winning its case.

So why won't Korea to go to the ICJ on a case that it can win with a 99% certainty? Because acknowleding that a dispute exists is an insult.

@OssanJapan

Japan doesn't "refuse" to bring the Senkakus to the ICJ.

Then why does Japan run from Taiwan's ICJ challenges.

Why should they when they already control it?

Same with the ROK and Russia.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

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