politics

S Korea to take part in Japan fleet review despite Rising Sun flag objection

40 Comments
By Soo-hyang Choi

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If you want a clear illustration of the difference between Japan and Germany coming to terms with their WW2 crimes, look no further than flags. Few in Germany would want the Nazi swastika flying on their warships

I'm not sure this is a fair comparison. The swastika was a uniquely Nazi symbol unlike the Rising Sun ensign, which has been part of Japanese naval tradition long before WW2.

A better comparison between Japan and Germany would probably be the continued use of the Iron Cross symbol by the modern German military. Nazi Germany used the Iron Cross to great propaganda effect, but the symbol wasn't banned in 1945 because most Germans recognised that it had a much longer history and its own context.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

It is the official Japanese Navy flag. SK is just gonna have to accept it, the flag is here to stay. Move on.

There are far, far more worrying things to concern people in the region. Japan, Korea and East Asia have not been more dangerous to live in for 77 years. Democracies need to work together to combat the anti-democracy and anti-freedom forces getting stronger by the day.

12 ( +23 / -11 )

Would have thought SK had more important issues to concern themselves with.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Many people in South Korea see the red-and-white flag as a symbol of Japan's past military aggression and its colonization.

How many?

The rising sun is a common and universal design available to everyone. It's also a free domain, not the possession of Japan. The problem is, radical Korean activists are attacking everything "looking like" the rising sun such as a smartwatch or lunchbox design on the ground of wartime legacy. That's full of irrelevance and infringement of free speech. Or a Korean joke?

旭日旗で韓国がまた批判 外務省HPでの説明に 時計や弁当もやり玉に

https://www.sankei.com/article/20190528-P5OFUZ73LJOZBKKKQV7Y5P2LPU/

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The Rising Sun (with rays) is the Japanese Naval Ensign.

The Hinomaru is also flown as a Jack.

Strange that there is no uproar about the Royal Navy flying the White Ensign, despite the past imperial and colonial injustices by the British.

The radical nutters in Korea just trying to stir up a hornet's nest.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

See...that's smart. Protest what you don't like...but participate. At the end of the day, Japan's not going to launch a reconquest of the Koreas anytime soon. But South Korea most certainly can and does need consistent, mutually-based assistance from its neighbors and partners in keeping its security priorities secure!

If the US, another former Japanese foe, who witnessed thousands upon thousands of its own citizens massacred by forces flying the very same flag, can "move on" and realize that it's 2022 and not 1942, then South Korea should surely be mature enough to do the same.

Why cut off one's nose to spite one's (almost 80 years ago) face? 80 years ago, China didn't threaten, and there was no "North" Korea lobbing missiles over the South and over Japan as well.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

..the use on Japanese warships of the ensign, a centuries-old design that was used by Japan's military during World War Two.

Used in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894.

Used in the Boxer Rebellion 1900.

Used in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904.

Used in WWI 1917.

All before WWII.

Good luck to President Yoon.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Hito BitoToday  09:52 am JST

See...that's smart. Protest what you don't like...but participate. At the end of the day, Japan's not going to launch a reconquest of the Koreas anytime soon. 

The only "conquest" was by Hideyoshi's forces in the 1500s.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Unfortunately, it has been coopted by the reactionary Japanese far right.

But a version of it is also the logo of that "left wing" Asahi Shimbun.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Looks terrible but this is what’s posted in JP MOFA site.

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

Hence people are free to use its flag whenever they think the occasion is appropriate.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Well done Korea, that is mature..

Now they just need to unite with China and they would be invincible...

The whole reason South Korea is being mature about joining Japan fleet review despite the flag issue - is that their security is more important against North Korea's chlldish antics

So unless China acts mature and finally lets go of childish North Korea, South Korea would have nothing to do with childish North Korea's best friend China

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I visited one of these warships in Yokohama. I did not think of the flag at all except it is the Japanese flag like a rising sun with rays on it. I wish the world would stop telling how others should dress up, decorate, etc... this world would be a better place if we just accept anyone's culture. I personally would not want a visitor to tell me how I should have arranged my furniture and what I have to get rid of unless I hired the person as my decorator. In other words, The world talks about acceptance but they all want to mark their thoughts including a flag.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Actually this old navy ensign is a different flag to the design that some people are imagining and complaining about, i.e. the Imperial Japanese Army flag.

I am sure sailors of the Japanese navy are proud of the difference too.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Now they just need to unite with China and they would be invincible

Thank you TokyoLiving, I needed a good laugh!

Most national navy’s have a separate identifying flag to the national flag, eg the Royal Navy flies the White Ensign, only flying the Union flag under specific and limited circumstances. The Japanese naval ensign has a much longer history than WW2 and comparison to the spastics flag of the NAZI’s is spurious as it had no history as a German symbol before they came to power.

The single headed eagle and iron cross symbols still used today date back in the case of the eagle to at least the 13th century Holy Roman Empire. Therefor comparison of pre existing Japanese symbols to the Nazi party symbol is to seek to distort history by spurious comparison.

None of which mitigates Japanese responsibility for the atrocities committed in the past or their failure to accept, repent and teach the facts to future generations to ensure they are never repeated.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Spastics :) = specific, I have no idea how that came about!

Oh for an edit button!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

letsberealisticToday  09:55 am JST

Look up "Japan and Korean relations". "What does the Japanese flag mean to the rest of Asia".

JMSDF vessels flying that flag are welcomed in Phillipines, Singapore Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand. They even train together.

Only South Korea and China have an issue with it. And the silly thing is that Korea was part of Imperial Japan invding other Asian nations in WWII. And the "China" that Japan invaded (ROC) is now Taiwan, which also has no issue with that flag.

Korean anti-Jp opinion, or CCP directed anti-JP opinion does not constitute the opinions of all of Asia.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Few would disagree that Germany has demonstrated far greater remorse and maturity in its attitude and approach to its involvement in wartime atrocities than Japan.

Remorse and maturity in its attitude and approach to it’s atrocities to extinct a particular race form the surface of the planet earth Right? Sure, Germans must do it forever.

Only simpletons get stuck on this foolish comparison against what Japan has done for Korea. Those simpletons can never answer how come Taiwanese perception is so different from Koreans one.

Those simpleton probably never know that German Genocide is not only Holocaust, they tried to extinct a particular ethnicity in Namibia, it's ex-colony. For the genocide where Germans tried to extinct the Herero, it took longer than a century for Germans to admit and make an official apology only last year 2021 for the first time ever, yet, Germans still rejecting legal responsibilities.

Those simpletons are probably ignoring the fact that, In the beginning of this month, Polish government officially announced to demand Germany to pay 1.3 trillion Euro for wartime atrocities.

So much for Germany model for the remorse isn't it ey?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"What does the Japanese flag mean to the rest of Asia".

In case you haven’t noticed, Korea don’t represent “rest of Asia”.

Korea started defaming this flag since only a decade ago as one of negative campaigns against Japan and they never complained about it before 2011.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

South Korea's far right who are currently in power are aligned with those elite who collaborated with Japan during Japan's occupation of Korea so they won't make more than a token protest to appease voters.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The flag of the rising sun is beautiful…..and it’s non of Korean business

3 ( +8 / -5 )

*For those who always compare Japan with the 3rd Reich, I stress again, Imperial Japan never thought of extinguishing a particular race. Not to mention what they have done to the Jews, Nazis oppressed Polish saying " It's enough for them to be educated up to around 4th grade in elementary school level, if they can count the number up to 500 and can write their own names, it's just enough" It abducted and murdered about a million intelligence in Poland. *However, Polish still preferred to be occupied by Germans rather than Russians because they believed Germany had culture. This is the terrible reality of the humane history.

 

*Did Japan ever treat, say, Korea like that? Japan ended slavery over there and introduced compulsory education for every children including those unable to attend the school due to their ex-slave status or poverty. The 2nd Imperial University was established in Korea even before Osaka Imperial University. Oh Yes I don't doubt Japanese then had some kind superiority complex over them.* But Comparison of Japan and Germany IS totally ridiculous.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Many people in South Korea see the red-and-white flag as a symbol of Japan's past military aggression and its colonization.

Always, the always used "many people" , could be just 2 people in a room discussing the topic, and the writer automatically extrapolates it to "many".

It's the fault of articles like this that folks can not put these issues to rest. Their goal is to be divisive, nothing else.

This could have easily just been an article about Korea observing Japanese naval movements, no need to include the BS, but that's the writers job.

2 ( +16 / -14 )

Koreans have only recently begun to make a fuss about the Rising Sun, and many who oppose the flag ignore the fact that Koreans at the time of the war waved the Rising Sun with the Japanese and cheered the Japanese army.

Japan has long used the rising sun motif not only on its flag, but also on its medals, and many prominent Koreans have been awarded such medals by Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If President Yoon truly wants to prioritize the security of his country, and to do so wishes to improve SK-JPN relations, the historical revisionism in the South Korean education system needs to be eliminated.

https://koreanmedals.com/koreans-in-japans-wwii-military/

Koreans served under that flag. There are Koreans enshrined at Yasukuni.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well done Korea, that is mature..

Now they just need to unite with China and they would be invincible...

If that flag is acceptable then the Confederate flag should be

That will never happen..

Now the Rising Sun is the Japan Navy's flag..

The Confederate was and is the lousy symbol only for some rebellious losers..

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

"Yes, the rising sun flag is the Navy ensign. It should, therefore, only be flown by the Japanese Navy. Unfortunately, it has been coopted by the reactionary Japanese far right. That is where the problem begins.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Few would disagree that Germany has demonstrated far greater remorse and maturity in its attitude and approach to its involvement in wartime atrocities than Japan.

Only a fool would disagree with that statement. Comment of the day! Hear hear!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The "Himawari" flag should be simply replaced by the National Flag of Japan. Anything else, makes no sense - other than a suggestion that the Military within Japan, has its own agenda and could potentially enact a coup.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Japan desperately needs South Korea, so it's good they are accepting it despite Japan's failure to acknowledge and atone for the past.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

It's an ugly flag just like the swastika.

It reeks of self importance

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

@nandakandamanda

Actually this old navy ensign is a different flag to the design that some people are imagining and complaining about, i.e. the Imperial Japanese Army flag.

It doesn't matter. All variations of Nazi swastika is banned in Germany.

-16 ( +6 / -22 )

The Japanese were lucky that they got to keep the simple flag design with the red dot in the middle. However, this one with the rays streaming out of it are unnecessary and should be scrapped. It’s similar to the controversy over the confederate flag in the USA.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

If you want a clear illustration of the difference between Japan and Germany coming to terms with their WW2 crimes, look no further than flags. Few in Germany would want the Nazi swastika flying on their warships (yes, I know it is a federal crime to do so). But in Japan, not only do they see nothing wrong with it, they flaunt it in the face of those they committed heinous crimes against.

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

South Korea finally accepting Japanese empire existence?

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

The Democratic Party is threatening to sack the naval chief for this decision, and move ahead with the formal criminalization of Rising Sun Flag like how Nazi Swastika is criminalized in EU when they take back the Blue House after the next election, which is assured because of the collapse of the ruling party in polls. The Democratic party is currently polling 20 points ahead of Yoon's party.

There was a Rising Sun Flag criminalization bill floating around since 2019 but it never passed because Moon didn't want to aggravate the situation worse than it really was, but the current roaster of the Democratic party leadership are hardcore anti-Japan folks, so the bill will pass and be signed by the Democratic president in about 5 years.

-20 ( +2 / -22 )

@M3M3M3

I'm not sure this is a fair comparison. 

Yes it is.

-21 ( +4 / -25 )

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