South Korea have asked the Japan Olympic organizing committee to ban the rising sun flag of Japan with 16 rays extending outward as it was widely used during the Japanese expansion for Greater East Asian empire. South Korea, which had suffered from Japanese aggression from 1910-1945, have said that the flag represent the imperial and militaristic history of Japan.
The request for ban made from the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee was, however, unheeded. The Japan Olympic organizing committee have said that the rising sun flag is widely used and it would not be prohibited from usage during the Tokyo Olympics as it doesn’t make any sort of political statement.
In the recent past, bilateral relationship between Japan and South Korea have deteriorated over the escalating trade wars risen due to conflict of interest. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Supreme Court’s demand for reparation for war time hostility and aggression have worsen the bilateral ties between the two Asian neighbours. On the latter issue, Japan have, however, responded that wartime compensation was paid during a 1965 South Korea- Japan agreement.
Also, Japan’s imperial past vis-a-vis South Korea have made matter worse between the two countries that South Korea have discontinued GSMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) with Japan last month which had enabled the sharing of sensitive military information against North Korea.
Regarding the new objection of ‘rising sun’ flag of Japan by South Korea and the vehement rejection of South Korea’s demand, it is unclear on South Korea’s future course of action vis-a-vis Tokyo Olympics. The rising sun flag is expected to be widely used during Tokyo 2020.
South Korea had an uneasy past with Japan after it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and was colonized till 1945. During that period, Japan is said to have imposed its culture onto South Korea and is said to have abused Korean women by keeping them as ‘comfort women’ for their imperial army.