South Korean broadcaster SBS has reported that the IOC has issued a response to an inquiry into the use of the Rising Sun flag at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo.
The IOC didn't specifically respond to the issue of banning the controversial flag during the event, but only said all Olympic stadiums should be free from political protest.
It said that if the flag is used for political purposes,… they will then respond accordingly.
Such a response suggests the IOC won't stop Japanese fans from bringing Rising Sun flags into the stadiums,… leaving the controversial issue unsettled.
The response matches the stance of the Tokyo organizing committee,… which said it sees no reason to ban the flag during the event,… explaining that the committee doesn't think it's inherently political.
The Rising Sun flag was used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War Two and is a highly sensitive issue not only to South Korea, but also to other countries that were invaded by Japan.
Meanwhile, the South Korean government is stepping up efforts to prevent the controversial flag from being taken into Olympic venues.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Japan needs to be more humble about owning up to its historical legacy,… and should know what that the flag means to Japan's neighbors.
And the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on Wednesday that a letter will be sent to the IOC to deliver Seoul's request.
The letter that is being drafted intends to express the concerns of South Korea, China, and other Asian countries that the presence of a sign of Japanese imperialism will only be a reminder of their painful past.
While it is yet to be determined who will send the letter, it is likely to be sent before the Chuseok holiday which begins next Thursday.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.