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EXPLAINER: Why Japan 'rising sun' flag provokes Olympic ire

Some countries say the “rising sun” flag is a reminder of Japan’s wartime atrocities, and is comparable to the Nazi swastika.

23/7/2021 9:28:00 AM

Some countries say the “ rising sun ” flag is a reminder of Japan ’s wartime atrocities, and is comparable to the Nazi swastika.

Japan considers the “ rising sun ” flag part of its history. There’s little prospect that ties between Seoul and Tokyo will improve any time soon. Here’s a look at the “ rising sun ' flag and the long-running unease it has caused in Northeast Asia.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Japan considers the “rising sun” flag part of its history. But some in the Koreas, China and other Asian countries say the flag is a reminder of Japan’s wartime atrocities, and is comparable to the Nazi swastika.That's why the flag has created anger at the Olympics, with some of the host nation’s neighbors calling for it to be banned during the Tokyo Games, which start Friday.

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There’s little prospect that ties between Seoul and Tokyo will improve any time soon. But the flag dispute may ease. Some experts say the COVID-19 restrictions that have banned spectators at most Olympic venues stadiums may prevent the disagreement from growing.

Here’s a look at the “rising sun" flag and the long-running unease it has caused in Northeast Asia.___ORIGINThere are two rising sun flags associated with Japan, whose very name in Japanese means “the sun's origin.”One is the country's national flag, called “nisshoki,” or “hinomaru,” which has a red disc on a white background. Few have a problem with this. headtopics.com

The other one also has a red disc, but it is surrounded by 16 rays that extend outward. Called “kyokujitsuki,” this one has led to vehement protests from some of Japan’s neighbors.Both flags have been used for centuries. But disputes about the “rising sun” flag date back to the early part of the 20th century. That’s when Japan’s imperial navy used it as its official flag as the nation colonized the Korean Peninsula and invaded or occupied China and other Asian countries until its World War II defeat in 1945.

It’s still Japan’s navy flag, used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and, in a slightly modified version, by the Ground-Self Defense Force since 1954.These days, ultra-rightists in Japan often use the flag during rallies or on social media.___CONFLICTING VIEWS

Japan’s government emphasizes that both rising sun flags use the sun as a motif and were used across the country even before the wartime period. Even today, the rising sun with rays flag motif is used in everyday life in Japan, such as to celebrate a big catch by fishermen, childbirth and other festivities, the government says.

Story continues“An argument that it is a political statement or a symbol of militarism is completely irrelevant. I believe there is a big misunderstanding,” now-Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in 2013, when he served as chief cabinet secretary. headtopics.com

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Japan’s neighbors view it differently.In 2019, South Korea formally requested that the International Olympic Committee ban the flag at the Tokyo Olympics. Seoul said that the flag recalls the “scars and pain” of Asian people who experienced Japan’s wartime military aggression, similar to how the swastika "reminds Europeans of the nightmare of World War II.”

North Korea’s state media, not known for understatement, have accused Japan of trying to turn “the flag of war criminals” into a symbol of peace at the Olympics, saying that is “an intolerable insult to our people and other Asian people.”China is also highly sensitive to perceived slights from the Japanese government, individuals and companies. However, official outrage over history has diminished somewhat, while China’s political, economic and cultural rivalry with the United States and European democracies has increased in recent years. When it comes to the flag, it’s clearly less sensitive in China than in South Korea.

___USE AT THE GAMESOn Saturday, when South Korea removed banners at the Olympic athletes’ village in Tokyo that the IOC ruled to be provocative, Seoul said it received an IOC promise that the displaying of the “rising sun” flag would also be banned at stadiums and other Olympic venues.

But South Korean media later reported that some activists carried the “rising sun” flag near the athletes’ village. Media reports also said Japan’s organizing committee ruled the flag isn’t banned inside Olympic stadiums.“It would be inappropriate to ban the flag from naval exchanges because a version is used by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces,” Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said. “However, you would not expect the Tokyo Olympics hosts or Japanese athletes to use the rising sun emblem because it is not the national flag.” headtopics.com

Ties between Seoul and Tokyo, both U.S. allies, have suffered for years in part because of disputes over history and trade.South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office announced Monday that Moon had decided not to visit Japan for the Olympics because the two countries failed to find enough common ground to support a leaders' summit.

___WILL THIS GET WORSE?Some experts say the flag dispute isn’t as serious as other points of contention, like Japan’s wartime mobilization of Koreans into sexual slavery or forced labor, and won’t likely worsen ties.The flag dispute can still flare, however, if anger among anti-Japan civic groups in the South draw a backlash among the Japanese public, says Lee Myon-woo, deputy head of the private Sejong Institute near Seoul. Lee says South Korea should refrain from a “too excessive, political interpretation” of the flag because there is no sign that Japan is reviving past militarism.

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But Bong Youngshik, a research fellow at Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies, says the flag wouldn’t have become a major issue if Japan had accepted its neighbors’ demands for making a more “sincere apology” over its wartime abuse.The dispute may not have much kindling to fuel it, though, for one key reason: The lack of spectators at nearly all Olympics venues means no one is waving that flag — which means the dispute may die down for the time being.

___Yamaguchi reported from Tokyo. More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsTRENDING Read more: Yahoo Singapore »

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It's Korea, right? The Nazi flag and the Rising Sun flag are different. Also, South Korea did not consider it a problem in the 2009 match. It has been making noise since 2011. Do you think war is involved? You believe the claim from Korea? One of the most plastic and fake country? Ok What are some of the countries? Please show us the name of the country clearly without misrepresenting it. And it is wrong to equate the Nazi swastika with the rising sun. The Rising Sun flag is not banned worldwide.

One country Korea It is very interesting that Korea is anti-Japan in spite of that many Koreans volunteered for WW2 as Japanese. USA put a president as the first president after WW2 who was anti-Japan and robbed unarmed Japan of the island Takeshima. Some?South North Korea and Communism China. 2 nations!

Even the enemy nations that actually fought in the war respect the Rising Sun Flag. I think you should refrain from incorrect rumors. そういう見え透いた嘘は見苦しいだけですよ。 Evil Imperial Japan is back, wants to repeat Japanese invasion and occupation in Asia This is the reality. Please specify “ some countries “ . Rather you should say “ one of the East Asian countries “ .

記録202107 🇸🇬SG202107

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記録202107🇸🇬SG202107 記録202107 🇸🇬SG202107 勉強不足ですね。 もしくは、いくら貰ったんですか? The SDF participates in various international activities under the Rising Sun flag. Just recently, a joint exercise was held with the Rising Sun flag and the the Korean Navy flag alongside. Same as the AP article, HYUNG-JIN KIM, and MARI YAMAGUCHI. This report aims to glorify Korea and demonize Japan. The filthy words against Japan written here are reported as if they were facts from the lies of the Koreans.

The uproar over 'Rising Sun Flag' began in 2011 when Ki Sung-yueng lied because of his discriminatory conduct, and today it is simply a hoax used by Jo Gyeong-deok and others to further exaggerate and defame Japan. Hate against Japan, which is an outrageous lie and vicious. 罪のない多くの人々を虐殺、強姦し、 ライダイハン の悲劇を生んだベトナム戦争で用いられた韓国の太極旗にはいちゃもんつけないんですか? 偏向的な報道止めてくださいね。

ヘイトスピーチで通報しました。 日本の国旗を侮辱しないでください。 直ちに記事の削除を願います。 先程、誤っていいねを押してしまったので訂正します。旭日旗は戦犯旗「ではありません」!シンガポールさん、韓国のデマに騙されないでください。 Some countries say You are kidding. Only South Korea, especially anti-Japan hate Korean organization aka VANK loudly say that.

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That's one of anti-Japan propaganda S.Korea had never cared about The Rising Sun until 2011 They have implemented anti-Japan policy for decades and the Rising Sun is just their target now It's Japan navy official flag and flied it on the millitary traing with S. Korea this month 2019RugbyWcup please don't lie.

China is a country that pretends to be a victim that the Wuhan virus originated in the United States and other countries South Korea is its minion Always those countries were liars and good at being victims But that's a lie. Some countries ❌ ONLY CRAZY BIG LIAR KOREAN ⭕️ No, this flag is recognized all over the world. 「Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels will display the Self-Defense Ship flag from 8 am to sunset at any port in the world while moored.」 ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

FACT Please specify that China and Korea say the “rising sun” flag is a reminder of Japan’s wartime atrocities, and is comparable to the Nazi swastika. No, only South Korean anti-Japanese organizations say that. They are spreading this article to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games today. South Korea, a country using the Tokyo Olympics for anti-JPN propaganda should be criticized by the international society.

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