|In this Feb. 22, 2013, file photo, a Japanese protester holds the Rising Sun flag and Japanese flag during a rally against Korea in Tokyo. Korea Times file|
North Korea's official newspaper denounced Japan on Tuesday over a reported plan to allow the use of its imperial flag during next year's Summer Olympics, saying that such a move is an outright insult to other Asian countries and a mockery of sports spirit.
Japan's organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has reportedly said that it would not prevent spectators from wearing or displaying the Rising Sun Flag, citing that it is already a widely used item in the country.
Used during World War II, the flag is considered a symbol of Japan's militarism. Its display in sports and other public events has drawn strong condemnation from Asian countries that suffered from Japan's invasion.
"(The use of the flag) would be an unbearable insult to the people of other Asian countries that were forced into unhappiness and pain by Japan's invasion and a mockery of the Olympic spirit that supports peace and friendship," the Rodong Sinmun said.
The paper claimed that Japan is trying to turn the Olympics into a "political propaganda stage" and adding that the intention behind the move is to revive its militarism.
South Korea has also called on Japan to retract any plan to allow the use of its old imperial flag during next year's Olympics. Earlier, Seoul sent a letter to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, expressing "deep disappointment and concerns" over the issue.
Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45. (Yonhap)