South Korea And Russia’s Japan Grievances And The 2020 Olympics 

It is always something.

There are those who really think that the Summer or Winter Olympics are all about events and athletes. But the Olympics is far more than that. The Games offer a political platform and twice in the last month, the host country for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Japan, has been told by other countries that there are grievances that they have had against Japan go back decades and those countries want the issues rectified. The latest comes from South Korea, a country that does not want to see Japan’s flag during the 2020 Tokyo Games used. South Korea and Japan are in a trade war with Japan removing South Korea from its white list of trusted trading partners. But the dispute may have its roots going back to 1910 when Japan colonized the Korean peninsula and forced South Koreans into forced labor. That ended in 1945 with the Japanese surrender to the United States that ended World War II. South Korea feels the Rising Sun flag reminds them of the days when Japan was militaristic and an imperial empire.

Meanwhile Russia thinks Japan is politicizing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Olympics have been politicized since the Greeks founded the Games around 776 BC. Russia is miffed because Tokyo Olympics organizers have decided to have the Olympics torch relay go through the Kuril Islands. The islands have been claimed by Russia and Japan and the two nations have disputed the islands ownership since the end of World War II in 1945. Japan’s official Olympics website map not only includes the Kuril Islands but an island that belongs to South Korea, Liancourt Rocks. Neither Russia nor South Korea is planning to boycott the 2020 Tokyo Games. Japan may also have another problem in hosting the 2020 Summer Games. The heat. Heat and athletic competition don’t get along all that well.

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