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