The Korea Herald


NGO urges online retailers to ban sale of Rising Sun Flag

By Lee Sae-byul

Published : Aug. 8, 2020 - 16:01

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(Voluntary Agency Network of Korea-Yonhap) (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea-Yonhap)

A South Korean nongovernmental organization has sent letter of request calling for an immediate ban on sales of items designed with the Rising Sun Flag to global e-commerce platform operators including Amazon, Google, and Wish.

Following the e-commerce conglomerates’ new policy announced through BBC last month to prohibit sales of racist products, the platforms ceased selling commodities that were deemed problematic, like Hakenkreuz -- the German Nazi’s flag -- and typical white supremacist images. But the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea pointed out that a slew of items using the symbol of Japanese Imperialism which could be highly offensive for many Asian people are still up for sale.

“Many people acknowledge the Hakenkreuz’s sore implications of the darkest days in European history during which so many innocents fell into victimhood of the tragedies incurred by the extreme form of totalitarianism. However, the fact that the Rising Sun Flag’s presence is quite parallel to that of Hakenkreuz for the nations that were put under the rule of Japan is often neglected, and this ignorance should come to an end,” said the VANK, expressing regret over the lack of recognition.

VANK added that Rising Sun Flag is openly used and sold for aesthetic matters by those who are unaware of and insensitive to its aggressive indication.

Since July, VANK has been trying to inform some of the world’s leading distributors of how the Rising Sun Flag is generally received in Asia -- a representation of painful memories -- and successfully stopped sales from eBay and Walmart.

By Lee Sae-byul (