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Japanese soccer club disciplined over war-time flag in S Korea

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There are more important problems to deal with like North Korea than flags and statues

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As a season ticket holder I can tell you that the Rising Sun flags are at all Gamba Home games, and many away teams display them and other similar ones.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Quite frankly, I find this ruling quite disgusting and discriminatory. I can accept that maybe Japanese should be considerate and not show a Rising Sun flag. However, to abscribe unjustified meanings and discipline a team for its spectators choosing to not show that consideration is unreasonable, disproportionate and discriminatory.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It's still used as the official flag representing the JMSDF.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yet again, Japanese soccer fans show a complete ignorance of their own history.

what has soccer to do with symbols and nationalism.....?

check your history to work that one out!!!!!!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It all depends on if they are even aware of their uncensored history and how their surrounding countries view them during WWII. You do not see Germany soccer fan flying swatica flag. Regardless if German fan wants to do it or not, they are well aware of what will happen if they do that. And, those who do that are just asking for it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

And the fact that no government officials will come out and denounce such behavior is reason why no matter the admissions of some sort of contrition it will always be taken with huge grains of salt!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki May. 4  05:58 pm JST Quite frankly, I find this ruling quite disgusting and discriminatory. I can accept that maybe Japanese should be considerate and not show a Rising Sun flag. However, to abscribe unjustified meanings and discipline a team for its spectators choosing to not show that consideration is unreasonable, disproportionate and discriminatory.

This happens all the time in the European football leagues. Russian, Italian and Belgian teams have been punished and threatened with league expulsion after fans displayed Nazi flags, chanted anti-Semitic slogans and acted violently towards other supporters. Fans have been killed due to violence and inappropriate measures to ensure fan safety. Treating the stadium, fans and team as one large entity may not be "fair" but it seems to be effective in limiting the actions mentioned above.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Kazuaki Shimasaki: "Quite frankly, I find this ruling quite disgusting and discriminatory."

Of course you do, because it was Japan in the wrong again. Had it been another nation doing something similar in Japan you'd be all for it. And it's not unfair or discriminatory -- you can see in the article that they gave a similar ruling and punishment to a Chinese team for doing the same thing.

The Japanese people who did this knew exactly what they were doing, and if SK did the same thing in Japan I hope the same would happen to them. They have to learn to leave their politics at the door.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@smithinjapan Today 04:56 pm JST

According to this article, Guangzhou was punished because its supporters showed a "banner depicting a discriminatory message relating to national origin and political opinion", which suggests to me the insult was direct, explicit and specific.

Japan's was "The defendant spectator(s) displayed a 'Rising Sun' flag, an action undertaken to offend the dignity of: (i) home team supporters; and/or (ii) people of South Korea origin, through the use of a contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory action ... concerning a political opinion and/or national origin."

The Rising Sun flag has a long history, and does not explicitly or specifically insult anyone. Some people just choose to get offended on sight. Nevertheless, the AFC decided to infer that an insult had taken place. Have you considered how dangerous such inferences are?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki : "The Rising Sun flag has a long history, and does not explicitly or specifically insult anyone."

It has a long history of being offensive, and of people who WANT to offend using it in similar venues to insult. Sorry, but there is no way they did not know what they were doing, and it was just as offensive as the case with Guangzhou, but YOUR offence to this is more like what you were talking about: "Some people just choose to get offended".

"Nevertheless, the AFC decided to infer that an insult had taken place. Have you considered how dangerous such inferences are?"

Like you inferring there was no insult? Or wait... is it suddenly 'different'?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Like you inferring there was no insult?

Do you value the maxim of "innocent until proven guilty"?

It has a long history of being offensive

There is a long history of a certain demographic feeling offended when seeing it. I hope that the difference in semantics is getting through.

there is no way they did not know what they were doing

I'll agree that they probably did know some people feel offended. However, their mere fact that people may choose to feel offended is not a justification for censorship. That is an inversion of right and wrong, to treat exercising of a right as a crime (or at least an administrative offence).

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

旭日旗 is over 130 years old and like 日の丸 just a symbol and old tradition of Japan being the "Land of the Rising Sun." It's history goes beyond WWII and should not only be correlated a sign of oppression. The symbol is even used by the US Military for a lot of Japan based units. If people are to be offended by the rising sun flag then they should be just as offended by the Stars and Stripes or the Union Jack because both the US and GB did just as terrible things in their history.

In the end it's ridiculous to be offended by a piece of cloth.. Have some mental toughness; sticks and stones.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kazauki Shimazaki:

"Do you value the maxim of "innocent until proven guilty"?"

Okay, then... there is only ONE way they did not do this intentionally, and is if they are just plain stupid. I mean, REALLY stupid. So, which do you think it is?

"There is a long history of a certain demographic feeling offended when seeing it."

The demographic these people chose to display the flag in front of -- a CHOICE. So, again, either in order to offend, or just plain stupid. And SURE they take offense to it -- why wouldn't they? You have a long history of blaming the victim by suggesting they should not and have no reason to.

"I'll agree that they probably did know some people feel offended. "

There you go! Progress! So now, again, which is it? Intention to offend, or just plain stupid? And since you can admit, to your credit, that they knew it would offend some people -- those people belonging to the host nation -- why do you in turn take offense to the punishment?

"That is an inversion of right and wrong, to treat exercising of a right as a crime"

Preaching hate is not a right -- at least not one that's tolerated in most countries. Even you can now admit they likely knew what they were doing. It is therefore hate. Plain and simple.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Smith, "Intention" is a blurry word covering mental states ranging from actively desiring a certain outcome to a neutrality towards same outcome, and you are further mixing the pot with phrases like "in order to". You clearly want me to concede to a lower level of intention, which you'll then twist into a higher level, because it is all the same word.

And freedom of expression is a sufficiently valuable part of our life that we should not penalize it based on mere "conditional/indirect intent". If we do that, we can't even criticize people, because there is always a chance the object of criticism will take offense (and sometimes that chance will approach 100%), and we'll be dummies to not realize that. In other words, we always "intend" to offend someone when we criticize them.

Leaving the mens rea aspect for a moment, in terms of actus rea it is very discriminatory to say that the act of raising a flag with as long a history as the 旭日旗 complies with the criteria of "preaching hate." This is also another way Japan's situation can be objectively differentiated from Guangzhou's situation, because their flag was apparently custom made for this occasion.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It has a long history of being offensive

No.  It is a quite new addition among  South Koreans' complaining about anything Japan.  Even newer than  their complaining about the name "The Sea of Japan".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

tinawatanabe: " Even newer than their complaining about the name "The Sea of Japan"."

That's older than Japanese complaining about the US and other maps labelling it BOTH names! haha. See how easy it is to point out the hypocrisy? But my guess is you've forgotten the latter because it's Japan once again in the wrong there, or at least, doing what you condemn.

Kazuaki: "Smith, "Intention" is a blurry word"

No, it isn't. They intended to, or they did not. The only 'bluriness' of any of it is in trying to justify something you cannot.

"in terms of actus rea it is very discriminatory to say that the act of raising a flag with as long a history as the 旭日旗 complies with the criteria of "preaching hate."

Not when the intention was to offend, and you yourself admitted they knew it would offend at least some. Imagine what you guys would think if someone put a comfort women statue picture up somewhere in Japan. The intention might be good -- they want to support the women who suffered, and people to know history. But would you suddenly say it's freedom of speech, and say it was okay because, even though they knew it would offend some people here, they were doing it more out of support? NO, you would immediately condemn it and demand it be removed, and you would have a right because it is in Japan, and the people did it at least in part knowing it would offend (even though that is not what the statue is designed for).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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