Foreign Ministry to promote Rising Sun flag in more languages
TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - The Foreign Ministry is planning to explain the Rising Sun flag in three more languages on its website, as part of efforts to counter South Korea’s campaign against the flag.
The ministry began posting a document on the Rising Sun flag in Japanese and English on its website in May, but will soon add Korean, French and Spanish with the aim of gaining understanding for Japan’s assertions in the international community, a senior ministry official said Thursday.
The document says the Rising Sun flag “is seen in numerous scenes in daily life of Japan, such as in fishermen’s banners hoisted to signify large catch of fish [and] flags to celebrate childbirth.”
“What is taken for granted in Japan is not known abroad,” the senior official said. “We hope the flag will become better understood among young people in South Korea.”
The website carries a photo of a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel entering a port in South Korea while flying the flag during an international fleet review in 1998. The Rising Sun flag is used as a flag for MSDF vessels. Also featured on the document are examples of flags with similar designs used overseas.
Since the ministry’s move in May, some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have called for the ministry to boost its promotion of the flag so that the message will also be conveyed to South Korea and other countries.
South Korea, which has criticized the Rising Sun flag as a symbol of Japan’s militarism, has asked the International Olympic Committee to prohibit spectators from bringing it into the venues during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year. At an international fleet review held in South Korea in October last year, South Korea did not allow the MSDF to hoist the flag, prompting the MSDF to cancel its participation in the event.