Japan Not to Send Vessel to Fleet Review in S. Korea over Flag Issue

Society Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force will not send any of its vessels to an international fleet review to be held in South Korea from Wednesday, over a South Korean request not to display its rising sun flag during the event, Japanese government sources said Friday.

In South Korea, there is antipathy toward the MSDF flag of the rising sun with sun rays as its design is the same as that of the now-defunct Imperial Japanese military's flag.

At a press conference on Tuesday, MSDF Chief of Staff Adm. Yutaka Murakawa said, "Vessels of the MSDF are obliged by domestic law to display the flag," suggesting that it will not meet the South Korean request.

Meanwhile, MSDF officials may take part in a related symposium scheduled for Oct. 12, according to the government sources.

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