The Tokyo organizing committee for the 2020 Olympic games in Japan has refused a request by the South Korean Olympic Committee as well as South Korean lawmakers to ban the iconic Rising Sun flag for the Olympic Games. The South Korean officials claimed the flag represents Japan's imperial and militaristic past and a symbol of Japanese aggression during World War 2.
Japan has denied the request because they don't believe the flag serves as political propaganda or represents a political statement. South Korean officials have condemned the decision claiming the flag violates the spirit of the Olympic Games and compared it to the 1936 Olympics in Germany. They have also called on other nations to support Korea's position on the matter and denounce Japan.
The fact remains however that the Rising Sun flag represents Japan's proud traditional past and formidable spirit and determination. It is that very tradition that has led to the successful, high quality of life that exists in Japan today, homogenous, clean and polite. If Japan were to compromise on tradition now, it would only lead to a downward spiral into crime and poverty.
However, it's likely that South Korea has ulterior motives for the request as they are locked in a bitter trade dispute with Japan right now. Japan has taken exception to South Korean courts permitting compensation suits to go ahead against Japanese companies that used Korean labor during the 1910- 1945 occupation of the country by Japan. All compensation was actually settled in 1965.
As a result, Japan has imposed export restrictions on chemicals critical to South Korea’s microchip industry. South Korea has retaliated by withdrawing from a military intelligence agreement and imposing export restrictions of its own.