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Current Affairs

Japan’s rising sun flag creates anger at Olympics

Date: 26 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Japan has unfurled its ancient rising sun flag during the Olympics, citing historical connection with the country’s culture.

 

Background

The rising sun is considered a symbol of Japan’s imperialism that had performed atrocities on Korea, China and other east-Asian countries.

 

Details

Many of the nieghbours of Japan have demanded that the flag be banned during Olympics. The dispute may further fuel unrest between Japan and South Korea.

 

Origin of flag

  • Japan’s cultural history is directly associated with rising sun. The translation of Japan’s means “the sun’s origin”.

  • There are two rising sun flags used in Japan. The first is the official flag of Japan, having a red sun over white background (nisshoki or hinomaru).

  • The second flag is a red sun over white background but with additional 16 rays extending outwards. This flag is called kyokujitsuki and is opposed.

  • The rising sun flag was used as a flag of Japanese navy that occupied Korea, China and other South Asian countries until its defeat in World War II.

 

Japan’s views

Japan says that the flag is misunderstood as a symbol of imperialism but rather it has usage in many important events such as childbirth, fishermen having a big catch etc.

 

Perception

  • South Korea has large reservations on the use of the flag as it has deep scars of the historic Japanese invasions of the country.

  • Even though China has expressed anger, it is less intense as in recent times it has taken a stand against European and Western culture.