South Korea asks IOC to ban Japan’s ‘rising sun’ flag at Tokyo Olympics

South Korea asks IOC to ban Japan’s ‘rising sun’ flag at Tokyo Olympics

South Korea has formally asked the International Olympic Committee to ban the Japanese “rising sun” flag at next year’s Tokyo Games, calling it a symbol of Japan’s brutal wartime past and comparing it to the Nazi swastika.

South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it had sent a letter to IOC president Thomas Bach expressing “deep disappointment and concern” over Japanese plans to allow the flag in stadiums and other facilities during the 2020 Olympics.

South Korean Olympic officials last month urged the local organising committee to ban the flag, but Tokyo organisers said it was widely used in Japan, was not considered a political statement and “is not viewed as a prohibited item”.

The use of the rising sun flag during the Tokyo Olympics would be a direct violation of the Olympic spirit promoting world peace and love for humanity

The flag, portraying a red sun with 16 rays extending outwards, is resented by many South Koreans who still harbour animosity over Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.

In its letter to Mr Bach, the ministry described the flag as an unmistakable political symbol embraced by right-wing Japanese protesters who vent anger towards Koreans and other foreigners.

It said the flag recalls “historic scars and pain” for the people of South Korea, China and other Asian countries that experienced Japan’s wartime military aggression, “similar to how the (swastika) reminds Europeans of the nightmare of World War 2”.

Thomas Bach with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)
Thomas Bach with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

The ministry said it also pointed out that Fifa, the governing body of world football, has banned the flag at international matches.

We “emphasised that the use of the rising sun flag during the Tokyo Olympics would be a direct violation of the Olympic spirit promoting world peace and love for humanity, and that the IOC should have the Tokyo organising committee withdraw its (current) stance on the flag and prepare strict measures to prevent it from being brought to stadiums”, the ministry said.

- Press Association

More on this topic

More Irish rowers secure places in Tokyo OlympicsMore Irish rowers secure places in Tokyo Olympics

Triathletes disqualified from Olympic qualifier for crossing finish line hand-in-handTriathletes disqualified from Olympic qualifier for crossing finish line hand-in-hand

Tokyo unveils 2020 Olympic medals made from recycled gadgetsTokyo unveils 2020 Olympic medals made from recycled gadgets

More in this Section

Father who confronted Boris Johnson over NHS says daughter is doing betterFather who confronted Boris Johnson over NHS says daughter is doing better

Jeremy Corbyn under fire over Labour Brexit policyJeremy Corbyn under fire over Labour Brexit policy

Trump says Ukrainian leader call ‘perfectly fine’ amid whistleblowing stormTrump says Ukrainian leader call ‘perfectly fine’ amid whistleblowing storm

Joe Kennedy III announces run for US senateJoe Kennedy III announces run for US senate


Lifestyle

For an instant supper or lunch, fishcakes can be nourishing, warming and tasty. To complete a balanced meal, all it takes is some stirfried or roasted root vegetables.Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

More From The Irish Examiner