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Japan to explain Rising Sun flag in Korean

  • October 27, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 5:39 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Oct. 27 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Foreign Ministry plans to create a Korean version of explanations about the “kyokujitsuki” rising sun flag in its website, in addition to the Japanese and English versions.

The ministry hopes to argue against South Korea, which criticizes the flag as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism and calls for a ban on its use, officials said.

The English version of a relevant section in the ministry website says the design of the flag “has been widely used in Japan for a long time,” citing examples such as fishermen’s banners hoisted to signify large catch of fish.

The ensigns of the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Ground SDF employ the design of the rising sun and they “are widely accepted in the international community,” it says.

In South Korea, there is a strong aversion toward the white flag depicting red rays spreading out from a red disk, the same design as that for the flag of the former Imperial Japanese military. The Korean Peninsula was under Japan’s colonial rule in 1910-1945.

Last year, the MSDF skipped an international fleet review hosted by South Korea, which asked Japanese ships not to fly the rising sun flag. South Korea has also requested Japan to ban the use of the flag at venues of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi rejected the demand, saying the government does not think that flying the flag will be a propaganda.

The ministry is looking at communicating Japan’s position in other languages, including French and Spanish, the officials said.

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