Tokyo, Oct. 12 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government on Friday lodged a protest with South Korea, whose navy hoisted a flag symbolizing a 16th-century anti-Japan hero in Thursday’s international fleet review.
South Korea had requested countries taking part in the event to ensure that their warships do not fly flags other than their countries’ or the South Korean national flags.
“South Korea violated the policy it had set,” a senior official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
A South Korean warship hoisted the flag symbolizing Admiral Yi Sun-sin, who fought against Japanese invasions in the late 16th century launched by feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the then ruler of Japan.
Through a diplomatic channel, the Japanese government told South Korea that the act was extremely regrettable.
Japan initially planned to send a Maritime Self-Defense Force ship to the fleet review. But the idea was scrapped following South Korea’s request for not showing the MSDF’s rising sun flag, which is regarded in South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.
Meanwhile, seven countries that took part in the event showed flags other than their own or South Korean national flags. They are Russia, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Thailand, Brunei and India, informed sources said.