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Japan to skip South Korea fleet event over ‘rising sun’ flag

/ 05:05 PM October 05, 2018

In this May 27, 2014, file photo, Japan’s military flag, the Rising Sun Flag, flutters on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force tank landing ship JS Kunisaki anchored in Yokosuka near Tokyo, getting ready for participating in the Pacific Partnership 2014. South Korea has reiterated a demand that Japan should remove its “rising sun” naval flag from a warship participating in an international fleet review at Jeju island next week. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO — Japan has announced it won’t send a warship to an international fleet review hosted by South Korea next week after Seoul requested the removal of the Japanese navy’s “rising sun” flag.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Friday that Japan notified the South Korean government of its decision.

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Many South Koreans see the flag as a symbol of Japan’s World War II aggression, and protested its use during the October 10-14 event near Jeju island.

Japanese officials said the flag, portraying a red sun with 16 rays extending outward, is mandatory under Japan’s laws and is recognized as identification for the Japanese military under an international maritime convention.

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South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha had urged Japan to consider how South Koreans remember its brutal 1905-1945 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. /kga

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TAGS: Diplomacy, Flag, fleet review, Foreign relations, International news, Japan, Navy, news, rising sun, Security, South korea, warship, world, world news, World War II
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