Japan fans warned about rising sun flag

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    Japanese sporting fans have been warned not to fly Japan’s “rising sun” flag at the Olympics, because it might anger Chinese, who have been taught to identify the flag with Japan’s militaristic past:

    “We explain in a safety guideline for Japanese tourists coming to see the Olympics that the old military flag may cause trouble,” Norio Saito, a Beijing Embassy official told Reuters on Friday.

    The “rising sun” flag, with 16 rays extending from a red sun on a white background, was displayed by the Imperial Japanese Navy and is still the emblem of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces, as the current navy is known.

    The embassy guideline notes that flags and banners of a political, ethnic or religious nature are banned at Olympic venues and discourages Japanese tourists from showing items that could conjure up bitter memories of the wartime past, which still haunt Sino-Japanese ties six decades later.

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