TOKYO (AP) — South Korean Olympic officials have called on Japan to ban its “rising sun” flag at the 2020 Tokyo Games after claiming it represents a “militaristic and imperial past.”
Kim Bo-young, an official from the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, says the request was made to the Tokyo organizing committee during NOC meetings in the Japanese capital on Aug. 20-22.
Tokyo organizers say they will not ban the flag, which portrays a red sun with 16 rays extending outward.
Organizers say “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.”
Many South Koreans see the flag as a symbol of Japan’s World War II aggression.
Relations between the two countries have soured recently over trade issues and threats to end a military intelligence sharing agreement.