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South Korea calls for ban of ‘rising sun’ flag at 2020 Games

South Korean Olympic officials have called on Japan to ban its "rising sun" flag at the 2020 Tokyo Games after claiming it represents a "militaristic and imperial past."

Kim Bo-young, an official from the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, says the request was made to the Tokyo organizing committee during NOC meetings in the Japanese capital on Aug. 20-22.

Tokyo organizers say they will not ban the flag, which portrays a red sun with 16 rays extending outward.

Organizers say "the rising sun flag is widely used in Japan; and it is not considered to be a political statement, so it is not viewed as a prohibited item."

Many South Koreans see the flag as a symbol of Japan's World War II aggression.

Relations between the two countries have soured recently over trade issues and threats to end a military intelligence sharing agreement.

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