Business ‘Ban Rising Sun Flag’ – Business Mirror

Business ‘Ban Rising Sun Flag’ – Business Mirror

Business South Korea has called on Japan to ban the country’s Rising Sun Flag at Tokyo 2020 after claiming it represents a “militaristic and imperial

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South Korea has called on Japan to ban the country’s Rising Sun Flag at Tokyo 2020 after claiming it represents a “militaristic and imperial past.”

The flag is
still used in Japanese society but is seen by some overseas as a symbol of
their aggression during the Second World War.

Tokyo 2020
organizers have confirmed to insidethegames that they will not be
banning the flag.

“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,” a spokesman said.

The Korean
Paralympic Committee has also reportedly requested that the Tokyo 2020
Paralympic medals be redesigned as they resemble the Rising Sun.

Japan conquered
large parts of Asia during the Second World War, including the entire Korean
peninsula, before their surrender in 1945.

“The Japanese
know full well that their neighbors regard the Rising Sun Flag as a symbol of
Japan’s militaristic and imperial past,” said South Korean Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Kim In-chul, according to Korean media. “Japan needs to be more
humble about owning up to its historical legacy. The Government will work with
related ministries to correct the matter.”

Staff from the
Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) have reportedly met with Japanese
counterparts to lodge an official complaint.

On August 15,
South Korean protesters tore up a huge Rising Sun Flag during a rally marking
the anniversary of the country’s liberation.

Seo Kyung-duk,
a professor at Sungshin Women’s University in South Korea, told The Korea
Bizwire that the flag should be treated the same as the Hakenkreuz—the
swastika symbol used by Nazi Germany.

The controversy
can, however, be seen in the wider context of an ongoing diplomatic dispute
between Japan and South Korea.

A goods war has
developed between the historical rivals, with both countries restricting the
other’s products in a series of retaliatory measures.

The Koreans
have also expressed concerns about food from Japan’s Fukushima region being served
during Tokyo 2020.

Fukushima was
struck by one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit Japan, in 2011, when a
devastating earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Around 16,000
people lost their lives.

Both Tokyo 2020
and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been keen to promote the
Games as a tool which could help with the region’s recovery.

Baseball and
softball matches will be staged there and Fukushima Prefecture will host the
start of the Japanese leg of the Torch Relay.

Produce from
Fukushima has been served at official events, including IOC Coordination
Commissions, but KSOC have claimed they are worried about contamination.

They have also
threatened to review their pre-Tokyo 2020 training camp plans due to fears over
“radioactivity.”

Further tension
has been felt over the appearance of a disputed territory on the official Tokyo
2020 Torch Relay map.

The map on the official web site for next year’s games includes the
Liancourt Rocks, which are governed by South Korea but claimed by Japan.

Last month,
Japan’s invite to the South Korea-China-Japan Women’s Curling Competition, held
by the South Koreans in Gangneung, was withdrawn.

South Korea is threatening to review plans to hold a pre-Olympic Games
training camp in Japan next year because of concerns relating to radioactivity
from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The country’s Sports Minister Park Yang-woo told a Parliamentary
Committee that the Government will discuss the issue with the KSOC.

“Nothing is
more important than safety,” Park told the Committee.

“We will seek
consultations with the International Olympic Committee and others to secure our
athletes’ safety and ensure that the Tokyo Olympics will be held in a safe environment.”

Earlier this
week, at the start of the Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Seminar in the
Japanese capital, it was revealed that KSOC sent a letter to Japanese
organizers to express concern about food from Fukushima set to be served during
the Olympics.

Fukushima was
struck by one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit Japan when a
devastating earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Around 16,000
people lost their lives in the tragedy.

Most observers,
however, believe South Korea’s threat is linked to deteriorating political
relations between the two countries.

South Korea also announced it was ending its intelligence-sharing pact
with Japan in a dramatic escalation of the two countries’ trade war.

Earlier this
month, Japan dropped South Korea from its list of favored trading partners.

South Korea
then dropped Japan from its export “whitelist” 10 days after Tokyo’s decision,
and created an entirely new country category exclusively for Japan.

Those moves
mean that Japanese and South Korean exporters of “strategic” goods will now
have to go through additional screening to sell abroad.

Japan and South Korea have had tense relations since Japan annexed South
Korea in 1910 and considered it a part of Japan until 1945.

Fresh tensions
emerged last year when the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Japanese
companies to compensate Korean laborers forced to work for them during World
War II.

The Japanese
Government maintains it settled all colonial-era debts in a 1965 pact, and many
Japanese companies refused to comply with the court’s order.

“Sports and
politics should be separate…it could be a good chance for Korean athletes to
take part in the Olympics that will be held in our neighbouring country,” Shin
Dong-keun of the ruling Democratic Party and a member of the Parliamentary
Committee told South Korean agency Yonhap News.

“But it is
important to take into account how to deal with safety issues.”

Insidethegames

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