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

South Korea is calling the Japanese flag a symbol of Japan’s brutal wartime past. (AP)
Updated 11 September 2019

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

  • South Korean Olympic officials last month urged the local organizing committee to ban the flag
  • Tokyo organizers responded by saying it was widely used in Japan, was not considered a political statement

SEOUL, South Korea: 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 with the Nazi swastika.
South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Wednesday said it 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 organizing committee to ban the flag, but Tokyo organizers responded by saying it was widely used in Japan, was not considered a political statement and “it is not viewed as a prohibited item.”
The flag, portraying a red sun with 16 rays extending outward, is resented by many South Koreans, who still harbor animosity over Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
The ministry said in its letter to Bach, it described the flag as an unmistakable political symbol that’s embraced by Japanese rightwing protesters who vent anger toward 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 II.”
The ministry said it also pointed out that FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, has banned the flag in international matches.
We “emphasized 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 organizing committee withdraw its (current) stance on the flag and prepare strict measures to prevent it from being brought to stadiums,” the ministry said.
Tokyo’s Olympic organizing committee didn’t immediately react to South Korea’s request to the IOC to ban the flag at the games.


At least 8 people killed in shooting incident in German city of Hanau - local media

Updated 3 min 36 sec ago

At least 8 people killed in shooting incident in German city of Hanau - local media

BERLIN: At least eight people were killed in a shooting incident late on Wednesday in the German city of Hanau, mass-selling Bild newspaper reported, citing prosecutors.
Police in Hanau, east of Frankfurt, could not be reached for comment. The motive for the shooting is not clear.
The Hessenschau regional broadcaster said two shooting incidents had taken place at two separate shisha bars in Hanau.