The current regulation states that a moment of silence should be offered only in memory of "patriotic martyrs and national defense heroes," terms that refer, respectively, to independence fighters during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule and those killed while defending the country in the Korean War and other conflicts.
The rule bans an arbitrary addition of those subject to the tribute, except in unavoidable cases.
But the Ministry of the Interior and Safety has revised the regulation to allow ceremony organizers to make additions to those subject to the tribute. Officials said the revised rule will be published in the government gazette and go into effect this week.
The new regulation didn't specify who can be added, but most of them are expected to be pro-democracy heroes, such as those killed during the government's bloody quelling of the 1980 uprising in the southern city of Gwangju.
The revision is one of the changes made after the liberal government of President Moon Jae-in took over from the conservative government of ousted former President Park Geun-hye in a nation divided sharply along ideological lines.
"From a broad viewpoint, pro-democracy heroes can be included in the category of patriotic martyrs as they lost their lives for the country," a ministry official said. (Yonhap)