Japan protests unified Korean Olympic flag showing disputed isles

This article is more than 12 months old

TOKYO Japan said yesterday it had lodged a protest with South Korea over the "unacceptable" use of a unified Korean Olympic flag that features a set of disputed islands.

The two Koreas have agreed to march together under the unification flag - a pale blue silhouette of the peninsula - at the Games' opening ceremony on Friday.

The flag shows a blue dot indicating the islands in the Sea of Japan controlled by South Korea but claimed by Tokyo.

They are known as "Dokdo" in Korean and "Takeshima" in Japanese.

"The flag is unacceptable, based on our stance on our sovereignty of Takeshima," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, adding that the incident happening with just days until the start of the Games in Pyeongchang was "extremely regrettable".

"We lodged a protest strongly insisting on our stance through diplomatic channels to South Korea."

He added that Tokyo will continue to urge Seoul to deal with the case "appropriately".

The new spat comes a month after Japan opened a museum in Tokyo devoted to the disputed islands, drawing an immediate protest from South Korea.- AFP