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politics

South Korea calls for ban of 'rising sun' flag at 2020 Olympics

141 Comments

South Korean Olympic officials have called on Japan to ban its "rising sun" flag at the 2020 Tokyo Games after claiming it represents a "militaristic and imperial past."

Kim Bo-young, an official from the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, says the request was made to the Tokyo organizing committee during NOC meetings in the Japanese capital on Aug 20-22.

Tokyo organizers say they will not ban the flag, which portrays a red sun with 16 rays extending outward.

Organizers say "the rising sun flag is widely used in Japan; and it is not considered to be a political statement, so it is not viewed as a prohibited item."

Many South Koreans see the flag as a symbol of Japan's World War II aggression.

Relations between the two countries have soured recently over trade issues and threats to end a military intelligence sharing agreement.

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141 Comments

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It should have been buried with Imperial Japan at the end of WWII.

-27 ( +32 / -59 )

Fair enough. I trust those of you who see nothing wrong with waving the rising sun flag would also be okay with Germany waving the swastika flag.

But, but, but it's totally different. Nope. Both were hijacked by fascists and turned into symbols of hate, aggression, and crimes against humanity. Have some decency.

-26 ( +29 / -55 )

Ok that's a good point chip star, I can agree with that.

But I thought South Korea were going to boycott the games anyway ... So they don't want to come AND they want to be party-poopers ?

At this point, it's pretty obvious that they are trying to do everything possible to throw mud at Japan

28 ( +44 / -16 )

Yawn.

20 ( +35 / -15 )

Next they will be requesting that use of the Japanese Yen currency be banned because it is a symbol of hegemony!

25 ( +49 / -24 )

I pity Koreans for not realising how ridiculous they look to the outer world by constantly crying over some Japanese flag totally based on emotion without any basic logic and harassing anyone who uses this flag. This reminds me of the movement to change the name of "Sea of Japan", some 10 years ago. To me, it seems that Koreans are constantly trying to seek anything related to Japan and make it offensive. Then, many other Koreans believe this without any critical mind and follow this movement through group hysteria. As they lack any kind of critical thinking, especially when it comes to Japan, they think that they are the right ones and entitled to force the world their views. They send spam e-mails and threats to celebrities (the lates victim is Sean Lennon), Youtubers, businesses harassing them.I would not be surprised if someone in Korea start complaining about the national flag of Japan saying that it was also the national flag of the Japanese Empire (and hence need to be banned), followed by the same group hysteria we are witnessing now.

33 ( +52 / -19 )

Unfortunately, the image was damaged badly by the Imperialistic Army.

-27 ( +14 / -41 )

Japans Olympics, Japans flag, Japans right.

What happened to SK boycott threats of the Olympics? If they boycott as most believe now, why are they worried about the flags Japan will fly at the the Olympics?

16 ( +40 / -24 )

Why do Koreans so much care about what we do in Japan? You do not care about burning Japanese flags and effigies of Abe in your country. In Japan burning flags of foreign countries is punished by law.

25 ( +42 / -17 )

I do agree (in principle) to the flag does represent Japan's colonial rule of Asia and could be compared with the use of a swastika flag by Germany. However, if Germany was to use this flag, the whole of Europe and many other western countries would protest its use. Whereas, from the many countries throughout Asia that suffered the oppression of the Japanese imperial rule it is only one petty little country that has complained based on a political bias on not for a genuine moral reason.

-21 ( +13 / -34 )

When the JSDF re adopted the Rising Sun flag in 1952, was there opposition from SK? No. In fact SK approved the use of the flag.

When the JSDF took part in the Naval fleet reviews of 1998 & 2008 in SK, was there opposition from SK? No, there wasn't.

The Rising Sun flag has only become an issue in the past 7 years with the increase in Korean nationalism and using Japan as the whipping boy to divert attention away from national problems.

The Rising Sun flag predates to the 1600s and it shall continue to be used right now and in the future!

30 ( +49 / -19 )

The 16 rayed "rising sun flag" is not a political flag, as is the Nazi swastika flag. Therefore attempts to categorize them together are both uneducated and misguided. The German Iron Cross would be an equivalent, as it was used by the German military throughout WWII and continues to be used today.

The Rising Sun flag is the Japanese Naval Ensign and is flown by MSDF vessels when they train together with US, British and Australian navies. All of whom are former WWII enemies of Imperial Japan and have no problems whatsoever with the flag. Many Koreans served under that flag during WWII and fought the allies.

This issue that South Korea has made out of this flag is just another example of South Korean historical revisionism and their continuous need to villify Japan even at the expense ofdistorting the truth.

Regardless, it's none of South Korea's business what flags are used at the 2020 Olympics being held in Japan. And if they want to boycott it, fine. But if not, South Korea should stop acting like a deranged child as it will hurt it's own image and the South Korean athletes who will be participating.

28 ( +50 / -22 )

Always sticking their nose in Japan’s business.

They don’t need to come to Tokyo if they don’t want to see the flag.

Everything will surely go well without their presence.

Quick question: Why South Koreans don’t request a ban of American, Chinese, North Korean and Russian flags? They have a lot to do with their history and their biggest war. I am just saying...

17 ( +34 / -17 )

The 16 rayed "rising sun flag" is not a political flag, as is the Nazi swastika flag. Therefore attempts to categorize them together are both uneducated and misguided

Love it. Every flag used as a symbol of a country or its military is a political flag. Therefore, attempts to divorce the two are uneducated, misguided, and clear attempts to excuse Japan's rape of Asia.

-9 ( +20 / -29 )

Northeast Asians are smart people, historical tragedy will not be repeated and people will move forward like brothers and sisters. Savages of war will not cut the thousand year tie.

-22 ( +7 / -29 )

As is to be expected, the anti-Japan crowd refuses to see or understand anything beyond their myopic views.

Equating the rising sun flag to the swastika is a false comparison. The Nazi swastika was created specifically to represent the nazi party before and during World War 2. Even the design of the Nazi swastika was reversed from the traditional Sanskrit swastika. Likewise the Confederate flag was designed from the forming of the Confederacy.

By comparison the rising sun flag was created during the Meiji period long before Japan even colonized Korea. It currently is the official flag of the SDF Navy. Only South Koreans seem to object to this flag, and they have a history of raising a fuss over the flag.

Certainly I'm not denigrating the horrible experiences Koreans faced in the past. But the time has come for the modern generation to stop nitpicking and crying about every little thing in regards to Japan.

And contrary to the anti-Japan crowd who continue to falsely accuse Japan of 'never' apologizing or compensating for its past misdeeds.

https://japan-forward.com/why-the-uproar-over-japans-rising-sun-flag-its-a-symbol-for-celebrating-life-and-bounty/

23 ( +39 / -16 )

AkieToday  07:12 am JST

Unfortunately, the image was damaged badly by the Imperialistic Army.

Only in the of mind of you and Koreans. Rising Sun flag is the symbol of Japan and will remain the symbol of Japan regardless of its history, just like the Union Flag being the symbol of UK despite its dark past as a colonial empire.

17 ( +31 / -14 )

Okay, Japan, then I hope you won't mind unified Korean flags with Dokdo included.

-2 ( +21 / -23 )

All countries should be asking it to be banned

-22 ( +16 / -38 )

IOC will allow the display of the rising sun flag. They already decided.

They said all Olympic stadium should be free from political protest and they see no problem with the flag.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Love it! The United States, UK, France, Australiam, Russia, Taiwan (Republic of China), Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore all have no problem with this flag. The tri-color German flag whih goes back to 1919 is distinct from the Nazi flag, a political flag which was in use only during the period that the National Socialist Party was in power. The Japanese Naval Ensign does not fit this category. Nothing like watching the uneducated and misguided digging themselves deeper into the hole.

22 ( +31 / -9 )

While I support Japan, I sort of agree on this, it has no place at an international sporting event.

-12 ( +14 / -26 )

All countries should be asking it to be banned

Really? How about not holding the Olympics here in the first place? I mean really now, there is no grounds for the flag to be banned, and this is just a typhoon in teaspoon.

The ignorance and stupidity of the people requesting this "ban" in unbelievable. They themselves have ZERO experience with what they are talking about, and are just spewing rhetoric because it's the "thing" to do in SK at the moment.

They want their 10 minutes of fame and got it. Now it should go back to where in belongs, in the garbage!

14 ( +25 / -11 )

The only time that I ever see this flag out of three context of three navy is hanging off the back of a black right wing van.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

I don’t see the point in debate about the flag.

If Japan have to change or remove this one then 95% of the world countries have to replace their flags as well, except for the Swiss,Vatican,San Marino and Liechtenstein ones.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Japan has always been the country of the Rising Sun. Koreans try to take that away too.

Next will be Samurai Swords, just wait and see. They have been used against Koreans for hundreds of years and it was a symbol of Japans warrior spirit. They will cry wolf soon or later on that too.

If you allow Koreans to dance on your heads... don't ask why when it actually happens.

16 ( +25 / -9 )

black_jack, you are not a movie fun, are you ? There are at least thousand movies out there about Pacific war, and the image of the rising sun flag isn't pretty, to be honest.

Education is the best food for wisdom.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

AkieToday  07:44 am JST

black_jack, you are not a movie fun, are you ? There are at least thousand movies out there about Pacific war, and the image of the rising sun flag isn't pretty, to be honest.

Education is the best food for wisdom.

Lol. What is your point? Are you saying that Japan needs to ban this flag because it appears many in WWII movies? Does not make any sense.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

For decades after its independence in 1948, Koreans never said anything against the rising sun flag. They even welcomed JMDF ships making port calls flying those flags. Then suddenly a few years ago, when a Korean soccer player was criticized for insulting the Japanese by mimicking a monkey, he said he did it because he was upset at the sight of rising sun flags among spectators. That was when attacking the flag became a Korean national pastime.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

It is not the national flag. If other Asian nations make the same request will Tokyo also refuse? If others see it as a symbol of aggression and war, why allow spectators to display it at an event that is supposed to represent peace? I mean really, it's just a little over two weeks, surely you can survive without your flag? Somehow this spectacle known as the Olympics has turned into a nationalistic medal counting frenzy. Me personally? I root for the athletes, not the country...

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

black_jack, hello, be smart, as simple as that. I never said anything like you put it in my mouth. I simply stated a fact: the image was badly damaged by the Imperialistic Army.

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

As expected the anti-South Korea crowd is out in force again.

Like others have said if the flag isn't political why is it sprawled over every single rightists' black van?

It should have been burned in the streets of Tokyo while they were incinerating all of those documents at the end of WW2.

-16 ( +7 / -23 )

The little babies need nappies changed and given their pacifiers.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

this back and forth between these two countries is really tedious. this bickering is really getting old

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The only time that I ever see this flag out of three context of three navy is hanging off the back of a black right wing van.

I saw it on walking sticks as I was climbing Mt. Fuji and on fishing boat masts as they celebrate local festivals.  Neither having any military connection.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Instead of banning their own flag, just ban South Korea from the games. Problem solved.

16 ( +25 / -9 )

Can the international community sick and tired of S Korea's tantrums protest and ask that S Korea dont participate in the Olympics, too? At this point in time they're considered nuisance to everything that involves adult conversation, really. So if they're not happy, can they not come? They're disrespectful anywhere they go anyway.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

SpitFire

Quote ''Like others have said if the flag isn't political why is it sprawled over every single rightists' black van?''

They display both flags on their van! At this point ban both flags and ask Japan to make a new one from scratch that has no historical issues connected to Korea.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

As expected the anti-South Korea crowd is out in force again.

Like others have said if the flag isn't political why is it sprawled over every single rightists' black van?

It should have been burned in the streets of Tokyo while they were incinerating all of those documents at the end of WW2.

The Japanese right wingers also use the national flag. It is common for any right wing group to use flags and symbols of the country. I live in the UK, and I saw a right wing group called English Defence League marching with the Union Jack. Does that make the Union Jack a political flag? White supremacists in the US march with the US flag. Does that make the flag of Stars and Stripes political and symbol of white supremacy?

13 ( +21 / -8 )

You have to question why people feel the need to wave a military flag at a sporting event when there is a perfectly acceptable alternative? The flag in question was used by the pre-1945 imperial forces and now only the SDF navy. It obviously means a lot of different things to different people. A prefectural or city flag would make more sense in supporting a particular athlete, but my guess is they are competing for Japan, not just its navy.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

For your information.

Every country has a flag to symbolize itself. Japan officially decided in 1999 that its national flag was the red circle on a white rectangular background with the ratio to each other concretely specified.  This is called nisshoki (日章旗)or "the sun flag".

A moot point here is about another unofficial flag called kyokujituki (旭日旗)or“the rising sun flag”with rays emanating from the red circle.

Both flags were used by the Imperial Japanese Army, but the rising sun flag was used mostly by the Imperial Navy. Today, a bit altered rising sun flag is used by MSDF on its ships.

Both flags were used by Imperial Japanese Army.  So must nisshoki or “the sun flag” be banned also?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

We have a proverb or Methali in my native Swahili that goes thus: The noise of a frog does NOT stop the cow from drinking water.

Koreans, sorry, you will NOT stop Japan from displaying their flag!

12 ( +23 / -11 )

What rationale could the IOC use to justify a ban? If we ban flags associated with countries that have gone to war or committed atrocities, most other flags would have to be banned. If we only allow the official national flag to be displayed, we'd also have to ban the Taiwanese flag, the Scottish Saltire, the Flemish Lion, and so many other innocuous flags that have always been allowed at the Olympics.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

You know what is really interesting? The same people who screamed about the statue being removed from the Aichi Art exhibition and now calling for the banning of the rising sun flag. I guess they don't what freedom of expression means.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

@M3M3M3

What rationale could the IOC use to justify a ban?

The same rationale used to ban the Swastika.

@black_jack

The Japanese right wingers also use the national flag.

And no one is objecting to Japan's use of its national flag, Hinomaru.

But the Rising Sun Flag is banned in China, Korea, and the AFC.

The fastest way to get the Japanese soccer team penalized is to wave the Rising Sun flag at AFC hosted international soccer matches.

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

When a Japanese Navy Ship visits Pearl Harbor, it flies the Rising Sun Flag. If the USN, does not have a problem with it, why should anyone else?

10 ( +21 / -11 )

When a Japanese Navy Ship visits Pearl Harbor, it flies the Rising Sun Flag. If the USN, does not have a problem with it, why should anyone else?

Because it's a naval flag representing the navy. The athletes are representing the whole of Japan. There's a (far less provocative) flag for that.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Since the problem is not the flag, which predates Imperial Japan, but the association with Imperial Japan, perhaps Japan should use it more in non-military uses like sports to lessen the association. Banning it in sports just makes more people think its a war flag.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

It seems no problem as S Koreans will not come to 2020 Tokyo Olympics and IOC admitted the flag for Olympics.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Im not gonna lie. It's a way cooler looking flag than the one they get now. And I do think tshirts with the design look cool.

Germany wanted an ethno state, where Japan wanted to unite Asian under their rule. So it's a bit different.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

This is not a big deal. Let Japanese wave whatever flags they want, let the freedom of expression fly.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Missy@ agreed. We need to remind ourselves that this is essentially a free speech issue. Unless the Koreans can show persuasive evidence that the rising sun flag is being specifically waved to taunt them, they have no right to complain. about activities by Japanese in their own country.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Japan should just ban SK from the games

2 ( +13 / -11 )

If the Chinese government protest against the use of the flag, then maybe the IOC could possibly review this matter (as it happened in football, when the AFC, the asian football confederation banned the rising sun flag under the pressure from the chinese), but if is only the south koreans, nothing is going to change, because nobody cares about the whining south koreans...

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Don’t Koreans have more serious issues to tackle, rather than crying over something that has nothing to do with them?

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Well, as Samit Basu points out the Asian Football Confederation considers the display of the"Rising Sun" flag at football matches as discrimination. In 2017 Kawasaki Frontale was charged with discrimination after supporters unfurled a small one at a game against Suwon Samsung.

https://farenet.org/news/afc-recognise-japanese-rising-sun-flag-discriminatory/

The winners in the nasty flag contest have to be supporters of Guangzhou Evergrande, though:

Guangzhou Evergrande fans held up an anti-British, anti-Hong Kong independence banner during a 6-0 win over Eastern on Tuesday. The banner said: "Annihilate British Dogs, Eradicate Hong Kong Independence Poison” in Mong Kok Stadium.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=88351

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Korea is obsessed to use any reason to try to dictate Japan and this is just another reason.

Their OPINION of militancy regarding the flag does not make it FACT.

If Japan were to give in to the nonsense demands pouring out of Soul it will spread like cancer endlessly till Japan became a vassal state of the ROK.

Japan has apologized over and over and paid for the wrongdoings of the past. There generations past WW2 Korea seroiusly needs to shut up and mind it's own backyard!

11 ( +18 / -7 )

What reason is there to display that particular flag at the Olympic games in the first place? Its not the flag of the nation of Japan. What's the purpose? Trolling?

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Japan gets to decide which flags represent it, especially in Japan.

People in the crowd are allowed to wave flags. Any flag that isn't obscene should be allowed and the Japanese IOC gets to decide what is obscene.

They also ban dangerous items for sporting events and some sports ban noise makers in the venues. I know Korea did at the World Aquatics Championships 2 months ago.

Of course, if Korea doesn't like it, then they don't have to compete. Their choice.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

this back and forth between these two countries is really tedious. this bickering is really getting old

Exactly,

I would say very Stale.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Olympics are supposed to be an event where political baggage is cast aside. The simple rule should be NO flags allowed except the national flags of people actually participating at the games. In other words if there are no athletes from Whingestan, you can't wave the flag of Whingestan. Simple.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

S Koreans are now boycotting everything of Japan everyday, maybe forever. It seems to me they generally swore not go to Japan, obviously also 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Whatever flag Japanese raise up, S Koreans don't like it and they will not come, but N Koreans may eagerly join in games.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

"The athletes are representing the whole of Japan."

Yes they are and it is up to the Japanese people to decide what flag represents Japan!

4 ( +12 / -8 )

1)-------------------------

For more than 50 years since WW2, Korean has no problem with a rising sun. One biggest counter example to anti-rising sun claim is Korean born world wide religion "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU)" have been using a rising sun looking logo where Korean people LET that happen all the time not being even an issue. It is too late to complain about flag.

2)-------------------------

Rising sun has been a traditional Japanese design since the ancient time. It was used for military in 1877 in Japan, before Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910. It is not same as swastika.

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%AD%E6%97%A5%E6%97%97

3) -------------------------

Even if you banned the flag, the problem won't solve.

One after another, in Korea, Japanese stuff is removed, such as trees planed during Japanese colonial rule, a statue of Japanese man power vehicle, the statue of Korean great guy who worked together with Japanese during war.

Even building looking like one from above sky has been an issue.

I mean are they serious??

I would say go to see a doctor. You have a problem not a building.

https://seijichishin.com/?p=24567

Good summary.

https://twitter.com/i/moments/1104712110846619648

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The South Korean attitude seems petty and opportunistic at first thought, but there again given the past history of the two countries perhaps one shouldn't be too ready to condemn it, and the "Rising Sun" flag is not the normal flag one sees displayed at sporting events, that's just the sun on a white back background, so why are the Japanese showing the "Rising Sun" one at the Olympics: showing off?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

All flags in the world represent something.. Don't like it ??.. don't go to the Olympics !!..

Let's go rising sun !!!..

6 ( +16 / -10 )

As many sensible people understand, the perpetrator is Korea and the victim is Japan.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Japan has a national flag and that is the one that should be flown and/or waved around by spectators. No reason to use the other one if it upsets some people and reminds them of dark times. Agree with SK on this one.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Not that I trust Moon but this move is a good one. Let’s see how Japan reacts. For sure well see deep balking. It should be banned on all international events. The military still waves it. It’s definitely not a peace symbol.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

These guys make more demands than an irate customer at McDonald's.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

It's bizarre in a way.

The common theme running through all these issues is that SK, or various elements within SK, are attempting to leverage control over and dictate policies for JPN. All sorts of policies.

Political, economic, educational, etc.

Perhaps it's just a sort beta dog challenging the alpha dog kind of thing.

But is a Rising Sun equivalent to a Swastika, no way.

That to me, sounds like a Chinese Communist Party import. It sounds more inline with their script.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

What a bunch of whining cry babies. Move on!

6 ( +13 / -7 )

I am sorry but I have been to several sporting events in Japan and National team events and I don't believe I have ever seen people waving this flag, only the current one.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There are a couple of misconceptions here. The flag pictured is the Japanese naval ensign, not a "colonial" flag or "war" flag. Many navies, including South Korea's have ensigns separate from national flags. The British ensign is well-known; it is a white flag with a red cross of Saint George quartered by the Union Jack. What is odd is that Japanese fans would think to carry a navy flag at sporting events in place of the national flag.

The second misconception is that this flag would have been familiar to Koreans not serving in the Japanese Navy during the colonial period. The average Korean certainly would have had occasion to see and resent the Japanese Imperial Army flag, but not the navy's. The army flag was similar, but the sun was centered while the ensign's sun is placed towards the hoist. In short, the Koreans are complaining about the wrong flag.

Having said that, I still that the ensign's use should be restricted to its proper and honorable role on the ships that defend us. In a time when one can no longer depend on the United States, and faced with a bellicose and possibly mentally unstable regime in North Korea as well as a China threatening territorial aggrandizement against weaker nations in the Pacific, unity of purpose between Japan and the Republic of Korea is essential. Rebuilding that unity should not be diverted by pointless squabbles that demean both nations.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Very offensive. The young people are not aware of the meaning that this flag represented to the world during and after WWII. It continues to this day. Very offensive. As a descendent of a Pearl Harbor survivor I find this atrocious and a slap in the face. Shame on Japan.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Whatever you think of the associations of this flag, there's only one reason South Korea is bringing it up now.

To provoke Japan.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Whatever you think of the associations of this flag, there's only one reason South Korea is bringing it up now.

To provoke Japan.

Whatever you think of the associations of this flag, there're only two reasons someone would wave it at a sporting event:

Ignorance, or to provoke South Korea.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

they can choose not to come.. actually please do us a favor and don't come

5 ( +10 / -5 )

SpeedToday  07:54 am JST

Instead of banning their own flag, just ban South Korea from the games. Problem solved.

China should also sue for banning their flag, as it was stolen from Ba Gua

1 ( +6 / -5 )

For me, its a no brainier issue. The right wing in Japan flies that flag on their vans etc to show their nostalgia for an oppressive past, a boot on your neck kind of legacy. If a symbol makes somebody feel inferior or pain, then dont do it. If you want to have it in your window or your yard, no issue. In public, no.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Even if the Rising Sun flag is innocuous, it's still a really odd choice. The bigger question is, why would fans wave a military flag at a sporting event if not to make a political statement?

Unless Yomiuri Giants fans are known to fly the Rising Sun during domestic baseball games, for instance, it seems like a calculated move to incite a reaction among an international (East Asian) crowd.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Other than right wing nut jobs it is a vile symbol. Mass murder rape on a scale rarly see by civilised people under this piece of cloth. Suprised more countries don't haven't complained about it.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

In short, the Koreans are complaining about the wrong flag.

@Christopher BauerT Surely you don't expect anyone beyond a military buff to know the difference? The differences you cite are pretty minor. I bet plenty of the people who would even wave that flag at a sporting event don't even know the difference or even care.

What is odd is that Japanese fans would think to carry a navy flag at sporting events in place of the national flag.

That is exactly it. No one has presented a legitimate reason for this at all. They simply can't. The purpose is to agitate and we all know it. And agitators have no place at the games.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@rgcivilian1

As a descendent of a Pearl Harbor survivor I find this atrocious and a slap in the face.

Would you take down a Stars and Stripes from being flown in Vietnam, Cambodian, Laos and at least 50 countries the USA has supported dictatorships or gone to war against?

So rather than likening it to a Nazi Swastika, it's more like the Croatian Ustashe being reminded they fought for the Nazis.

Overall though, I tend to think this fits into what George Carlin called the "pussification" of society by people with no sense of humor.

There was a recent controversy of a similar nature where a British soccer team was playing an Israeli team in a tournament.

Uefa, the organisation that runs European football, deemed the Palestinian flag to be an “illicit banner” and fined the club for doing so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv709baepTM

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Several posters have compared the Rising Sun flag with the Nazi Swastika. I wonder why Japan refuses to ban this flag and at the same time they want to change the Manji (backwards swastika) sign because some people think it looks like a Swastika:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/japan-weighs-change-to-swastika-like-temple-symbol/

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

A flag is a symbol. People change the meanings of symbols as they do for words. It's interesting to see Japanese people making the "V" sign when they take photographs. They call it the "Peace" sign. It isn't. The word "Peace" doesn't begin with a V. "V" stands for Victory and was the sign made by the victorious US military when they occupied Japan in 1945. You might imagine that Japanese people would be incensed by this sign, but they have converted it to a symbol of happiness.

Maybe we can convert the Rising Sun flag to just a symbol of this country?

Better than getting uptight about it and wasting air!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I suddenly got an urge to buy a "rising sun" flag.

Perhaps, they should ban the Korean flag as it has come to represent a nuisance...

4 ( +13 / -9 )

The athletes are representing the whole of Japan."

Yes they are and it is up to the Japanese people to decide what flag represents Japan!

Usually when a country hosts the Olympic games, the people of that country use their national flag to support their athletes, who are representing the whole of that country.

They do not usually use their countries naval ensign.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

When a Japanese Navy Ship visits Pearl Harbour, it flies the Rising Sun Flag. If the USN, does not have a problem with it, why should anyone else?

Because, it is a Japanese naval ship, visiting an American Naval base. It has no connection with an international sporting event.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Why all these puerile spats about non-issues.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@BertieWooste

I wonder why Japan refuses to ban this flag and at the same time they want to change the Manji (backwards swastika) sign

I can only imagine it is due to internal idiocy and pandering to external idiocy.

In Asia and to pretty much all Asians, what 3bn people?, it means something else entirely and has done so for more than 5,000 years.

In Japan, the ‘counterclock’ Manji — with the trailing lines to the left and called “Omote“ — represents infinite mercy. The ‘clockwise’ Manji — with the trailing lines to the right and called “Ura“ — represents intellect and strength.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The rising sun flag predates Imperial Japan and has been long been the symbol of Japan. South Korea is such a country of whiners.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

From BertieWooster: "Maybe we can convert the Rising Sun flag to just a symbol of this country?"

This practical Jeeves answer is that Japan has one solid good national flag that offends no one. Why have two, particularly a Navy ensign?

Open question: If Japan can fly the national flag and the Navy ensign, should other people be allowed to fly flags other than their national flags? How about the Peace Flag or the LGBTQ flags? Could every American state and territory fly their flags?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

South Korea is such a country of whiners.

I don't think so. SK is a country where much of the media is run by people working on an agenda who would like people to whine about Japan.

How unlike Japan which has democracy, a free press and everything is open!

(Possibly with just a soupçon of sarcasm)

3 ( +7 / -4 )

My general impression of people in Japan who are very right wing is that through claim to represent their country (Japan), but actually don't. (Many ultra right wingers would probably not get into the Japanese SDF).

Japanese people who fly this flag at an international sporting event are actually degrading Japans own fine, professional, navy.

The point of the Olympics is that the host country welcomes the peoples of the world to participate in games, in a spirit of friendship.

I am quite sure that the Admiral of the Fleet in Japan would not be happy seeing his ensign hijacked for political or provocative purposes.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If Japan insist on waving the Rising Sun flag at the Olympics, it will garner international media attention with SK, and even China joining in on criticism.

It can't be good for the Games to have two closest neighbouring countries protesting the use of the symbol.

Whilst it's true that the flag originates from long before WW2, it is also true that its most prominent use was by the Imperial Japanese Army.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Ban a flag and everything just falls into place?

The South Korean Government needs a reality check. Who has the nuclear weapons? The delivery system, It is your North Korean neighbours.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Ban a flag and everything just falls into place?

The South Korean Government needs a reality check. Who has the nuclear weapons? The delivery system, It is your North Korean neighbours.

It's not about North Korea or nukes, the Olympics is about the worlds peoples and countries coming together in the spirit of friendship to compete in games.

If the host country can't manage this, then don't apply to host the games.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

How about a ban on stupid people at the Olympics? South Korea is acting just like a child that started a temper tantrum and no doesn't know how to end it. SK should get back to what's important like making friends with all of it's neighbors again. It seems to have alienated all of them thus far.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan needs to ban this flag. As a Japanese person, I have a problem with authority actively exhibiting this flag. Considering Japan's behaviors in the past, it is beyond insensitivity, rather, outright offense.

Still, sk needs to stop bundling issues. It's annoying. Step aside and let us breathe.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Seoul's just seen to it that these flags are now gonna be everywhere you look during the Olympics...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If South Korea feels so strongly about it, then they should protest by not going and joining the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

But they probably will go, because that's where their heart is truly at.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

or else what? lol

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The current version of the Rising Sun flag dates from 1954 and not as exactly the same as one during the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Japan

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Japan needs to ban this flag. As a Japanese person, I have a problem with authority actively exhibiting this flag. Considering Japan's behaviors in the past, it is beyond insensitivity, rather, outright offense.

Still, sk needs to stop bundling issues. It's annoying. Step aside and let us breathe.

Agreed with this comment. And let the 2 ice skaters (one Korean, one Japanese) from the 2018 Winter Olympics be an example to all.

But looking at the way this issue with flags is going, and some of the comments I hope these games will not be a re-run of 1936, disguised with cute little mascots.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I'm not keen on the Wikipedia because it's such a warzone for activists, but

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Sun_Flag

I'd like to know the history of the correlation and when it first started.

@Richard Burgan

How about a ban on stupid people at the Olympics?

Ticket prices will pretty much achieve that, come the day.

You can guarantee neither the whiners, nor the provokers will be bothered to shell out.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The Rising Sun Flag As Part Of Japanese Culture

The Flags of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Ground Self-Defense Force As Official Flags of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces

  The design of the rising sun is widely used in the world.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000481576.pdf

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Inspired by the western powers that visited them the colonial-imperialistic period of Japan ranging from the late 1800's until the end of the WW II is one of the darkest if not the darkest period in Japanese history wich spans several millennia.

However the beautiful Rising Sun flag has been a national symbol of Japan dating back to at least the early 1600's and seeing as the European colonial powers and the US government were allowed to keep their national symbols despite all the atrocities they committed, and in the case if the US government they are still ongoing, I don't see any reason why Japan should give up the Rising Sun flag.

We can argue about the aspect ratio but the Japanese Rising Sun flag is here to stay and rightfully so.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There has always been a problem with those symbols and their misuse.

the Swastika was misused by the NAZI and was outlawed for all after the Second World War, the problem is that it is also a religious symbol for the Pagans, the Buddist, the Hindus and others.

Pits orinal meanning was the winter Equinox after witch the days get longer again in the northern hemisphere.

Also why we have two swastikas, the other one is for the June Equinox as the days get shorter again.

the irony of sorts is that we never outlawed the Christian Cross, even though this one was used by the Knights who conducted atrocious massacres throughout the Middle Ages, burned people and so one and forth. Yet, we still allow its use.

the meaning of the former imperial Japanese Flag is actually the same as that ofmthe NAZI flag.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

the reason its an issue is the koreans are making it an issue. why didn't they ban it for the seoul olympics, world cup, winter olympics, etc.? why now?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan's flag is a "red sun" in the center of a white backround.

This is an international sports event, not a military exercise.

I rarely side with South Korea, but this time, I agree.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Get over yourselves Japan. This flag is only ever used in context of three military and the only people who celebrate it today are the far right and their black vans.

Leave the flag at home.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

the Christian Cross,

I agree with you that many atrocities were committed under that banner but that's more of a religious symbol and not a national symbol of a country so it's not exactly the same.

the meaning of the former imperial Japanese Flag is actually the same as that ofmthe NAZI flag.

The Nazi flag was specifically created for the purpose of waging war and spreading their depraved ideology.

Prior to that the Nazi flag never existed in Germany an It had never been a national symbol.

The Rising Sun flag has existed for centuries, was not created for the purpose of waging war or spreading an ideology and was considered by foreign countries as the Japanese national flag.

The western powers and Japan used the Rising Sun flag in trade documents and it appeared in western art of that period.

There was never such a thing as an Japanese imperial flag, they used their existing national symbol to go to war as so many other countries did and those countries were never asked nor did they give up their national symbols neither.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japan's flag is a "red sun" in the center of a white backround.

This is an international sports event, not a military exercise.

I rarely side with South Korea, but this time, I agree.

Yes, I agree with SK making this request.

With hindsight it was perhaps a mistake in 1954 to use this flag as an ensign for the Japanese navy.

It has been hijacked or commercial reasons, and now political reasons.

As one commentator points out, to ban it will only encourage people to ware it. Lets hope that Japans authorities will urge (Abe often urges) people o show respect and common sense.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Unless it's a naval event, they should not allow the flag any more than a flag with swastikas.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Yawn.

The narcissism of small differences is getting tiresome with these two.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

they should not allow the flag any more than a flag with swastikas.

Forgive me if I am wrong but I assume you are British ?

Should we also ban the flag of the UK considering the atrocities they committed for hundreds of years during their imperialistic reign ?

Don't get me wrong I don't think they should but the same implies to the Rising Sun flag.

Comparing the Rising Sun flag to a Nazi flag is ridiculous as history clearly tells a different tale.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Yes, please.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

...so it is not viewed as a prohibited item."

I'll be curious as to what Tokyo decides is prohibited.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Flags are rubbish & divisive, so there should be none of them. In my opinion, natch.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Recently, a very popular Italian comic artist was forced to change the cover of one of his works because he received some complaints by two Korean artists. In the cover there wasn't even the full rising sun flag, only the rays that could remember it. The Korean artists told him basically he was using a Nazi symbol, so he changed the cover. I am afraid about how Korean interference is working also in my Country. We are living a very difficult time in Italy, where if for example you disagree with mass immigration just because you think it's not how a proper immigration should happen, you can be easily labeled like Fascist and racist. We have just got a new government that wasn't voted by Italian citizens, made to please the EU and accept massive migration without complaining. If you disagree with it, you are labeled "racist" and stuff. People are scared to express their opinion. So I think also this new Korean massive attack over the rising sun flag, widely used in Italy in the past decades, is scaring many innocent people. I see the freedom of speech in my Country being limited always more with fake accuses of racism and fascism everywhere. Thanks Koreans, to add new limitations to our already limited freedom of speech. You chose the perfect timing to export your political agenda also in my Country.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Oh, let them raise their rising sun flags, everyone knows Japan is in fact doomed, what with the falling birthrate, rising consumption tax, useless politicians...

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

@Serrano: South Korea has the same problems, even worse, indeed their birthrate is lower than Japan's. I'd like Koreans would care about their problems, instead they try to export their agenda everywhere, lately also in my Country. We must already deal with every possible thing that could hurt Muslims, and accept everything they do, despite it could hurt Christians, now we must think also about Koreans. Enough is enough. We don't care about what the Koreans do in their Country, could they let us alone?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I know in South Korea they are boycotting Japanese goods, they still ban some Japanese music, and stuff. I think they are free to do whatever they want. If for some reason they want to ban pizza, whatever. They are free to do it. What I find ANNOYING it's like South Koreans are telling everyone what you can or can't do in YOUR OWN Country. So, now we can't even use simply rays of sun in a comic because they remind them of the Japanese rising sun flag? This is absurd, but I repeat, I can see why the company and the artists accepted the complaints and censored the original cover, by considering how everyone is scared by the current political mood in Italy. But I find this censorship horrible, we are losing our freedom day by day.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Agree with South Korea, anything that hurts even a single person's feelings should be banned forever and the punishment should be tens of years in prison. This is the only way to protect people

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

@jeancolmar

This practical Jeeves answer is that Japan has one solid good national flag that offends no one. Why have two, particularly a Navy ensign?

Why not? Japan isn’t the only country to make use of its naval flag as a popular national symbol. In Chile the national flag, as well as the navy ensign, and presidential standards are all common sights at international sporting events. The navy jack gets the occasional grumble from Bolivians and Peruvians, but generally nobody cares. It’s up to each nation to choose and wield whatever national symbols they want on their own soil.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Alex80

Recently, a very popular Italian comic artist was forced to change the cover of one of his works because he received some complaints by two Korean artists. In the cover there wasn't even the full rising sun flag, only the rays that could remember it. The Korean artists told him basically he was using a Nazi symbol, so he changed the cover. 

Interesting. A similar thing occurred in Los Angeles recently. Koreans objected to a mural of Ava Gardner which exhibited a “starburst” pattern in its background. They claimed that the mural—contrary to its actual content or the intent of the artist—promoted Japanese nationalism.

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-edu-koreatown-school-mural-dispute-20190529-story.html

9 ( +10 / -1 )

the reason its an issue is the koreans are making it an issue. why didn't they ban it for the seoul olympics, world cup, winter olympics, etc.? why now?

@fds - find me just ONE photo of a Rising Sun flag being waved at the Seoul Olympics, 2002 World Cup, or 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics?

Oh wait, there aren't any?

Need I explain further?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

 they still ban some Japanese music, and stuff

@Alex80 - Any source for this?

As far as I'm aware the only Japanese cultural export banned in SK is sick hard core Japanese pornography and soft core pornographic material depicting children in suggestive sexual poses.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Sun must rise somewhere. Far East or Far West?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s up to each nation to choose and wield whatever national symbols they want on their own soil.

@Nicholas - You could argue that. However nobody here believes that the Rising Sun flag is just an innocent alternative symbol for Japan. Its primary use and connotation is with the use of the flag by the murderous Japanese Imperial Army, and in present day Japan it symbolises the far-right and glorifying of Japan's murderous past. The Japanese SDF too yes - but the Olympics is not a Navy event as many have pointed out.

People always point out that other flags like the Union Jack also represent oppression and violence to some countries - but the difference is that the Union Jack is an official national flag and the Rising Sun is not. And is any country asking the UK not to use the Union Jack? So why the false equivalence then?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

What happened to SK boycott threats of the Olympics? 

@Ganbare - when did SK officially bring up possible boycott of the Olympics? Should we file that under this week's edition of 'things that never happened?'

Or are you basing this on internet comments by individuals, in which case - LOL

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Human has feelings. Northeast Asians must not hurt each others anymore.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

obsession

n.

Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Heckleberry: about the ban of Japanese music in South Korea, please read the whole article, it's a well known fact:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_Japanese_media_in_South_Korea

6 ( +7 / -1 )

about the ban of Japanese music in South Korea, please read the whole article, it's a well known fact:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_Japanese_media_in_South_Korea

@Alex80 - an import ban on Japanese music and movies was removed in the 1990s. Japanese manga and animation were freely available long before then, in fact Koreans who are in their 30s and 40s now grew up reading Dr Slump, Dragonball, Slam Dunk, and watched Galaxy 999, Sailor Moon, Ultraman etc. If any manga or anime was big in Japan, the Koreans know it.

As for broadcasting Japanese music over national broadcasters - there are still victims of the Imperial Japanese Army still alive. Having said that I've never ever heard Japanese music on public radio or TV in Australia either.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

@Heckleberry: before the partial (it's STILL only partial) removal of the ban, Japanese manga and anime were imported in South Korea ILLEGALLY, and many of them censored, indeed many Koreans thought Doraemon and Sailor Moon were Korean series. Also, before you denied any ban of Japanese music in South Korea, and now you are saying "yeah, it happens, but you know, many victims of Japanese Army are still alive"... Seriously? About the Boycott of Tokyo Olympics, yeah, some Korean politicians of the ruling party supported the idea.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I saw published on some sites some years ago many drawings made by Korean elementary school children displayed in South Korea, to protest against Japan over the Dokdo issue. In these drawings you had characters like Sailor Moon and Doraemon destroying Japan. Obviously those kids didn't even know their heroes were Japanese.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

before the partial (it's STILL only partial) removal of the ban, Japanese manga and anime were imported in South Korea ILLEGALLY, and many of them censored, indeed many Koreans thought Doraemon and Sailor Moon were Korean series. 

@Alex80 - Wrong, there is no partial ban on imports of Japanese music and movies in SK, unless you think censorship over violent/ potentially harmful material which every country has is a 'partial ban'?

I was talking about 'ban' as in import and individual consumption, not over broadcast.

And re: politicians floating ideas - the fact that they discussed it and some were in favour of it is not the same as the official position of the government. Politicians float ideas and vote on it. Seriously are you this naive?

I mean, a few years ago a leading Japanese politician posed the question of whether refugees coming to Japan from a possible SK vs NK armed conflict should be accepted or shot dead. So was that the official position of the Japanese government?

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

I saw published on some sites some years ago many drawings made by Korean elementary school children displayed in South Korea, to protest against Japan over the Dokdo issue. In these drawings you had characters like Sailor Moon and Doraemon destroying Japan. Obviously those kids didn't even know their heroes were Japanese.

@Alex80 -Think about it - why was it news in Korea? Because the fact that children were made to draw anti-Japan posters by an ultra-nationalist teacher shocked Koreans too, and it was reported in SK. And of course the anti-Korea love to use this news from years ago as evidence of anti-Japan education in Korea.

Do you look at the news that some Japanese ultra-nationalists threatened NK schools in Japan and think that it represents all of Japan? Does the neto-uyo girl who called for massacre of all Koreans represent Japan? The black vans?

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

@Heckleberry: there's still a ban about broadcast of Japanese music, not because it can be "harmful or violent", but because it is Japanese. Period. What are you trying to deny?!

Plus, I said some Korean officials of the ruling party supported the idea of boycotting Japanese Olympics, I didn't say the government officially already decided about it. But you can't deny this matter is discussed.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

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