South Korean Flags and indicators dangle on the appartment constructing internet hosting Olympics contributors, on the Athletes Village, the place an individual has examined optimistic for COVID-19, forward of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games in Tokyo, Japan July 17, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
July 17, 2021
TOKYO (Reuters) – The South Korean group has eliminated banners with an historic reference to a previous battle with Japan from their Olympic village lodging balconies in Tokyo, the Worldwide Olympic Committee mentioned on Saturday.
The banners had been hung from the group’s balconies within the Olympic village, residence to the ten,500 athletes from greater than 200 international locations who will compete on the Video games beginning subsequent week.
“I’ve been knowledgeable that the banners have been taken down by the South Korean Olympic Committee,” IOC President Thomas Bach advised a information convention.
“This clearly occurred on the request of the IOC as a result of the rules are additionally saying very clearly that the Olympic village is without doubt one of the protected areas the place the athletes can stay peacefully collectively with out having to face any type of divisive messages,” he mentioned.
This isn’t the primary time the 2 international locations have been at odds over flags and symbols throughout the Olympics.
Regardless of having normalised ties in 1965, relations between the 2 international locations have usually been strained, largely over Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula up to now.
On the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the roles have been reversed with Japan complaining over followers waving a Korean peninsula flag depicting disputed islands within the sea between the 2 nations often known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese.
South Korea additionally requested the IOC in 2019 to bar Japan from utilizing the “Rising Solar” flag on the Video games, a logo of Japan’s imperialist previous.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson)