Japan has decided to skip an international naval event in South Korea next week amid a dispute over its plan to fly the Rising Sun flag, a Seoul government source said Friday.
Japan informed South Korea of the decision to not send a warship to the International Fleet Review to open for a five-day run at a military port on Jeju Island on Wednesday.
"This morning, Japan notified South Korea that it won't send a Maritime Self-Defense Forces warship to the Jeju International Fleet Review," the source said.
Japan had planned to send a warship to the event, saying it would fly the flag during the ceremony.
South Korea strongly opposed this, citing public sentiment here. South Koreans regard the flag as a symbol of Japan's imperialistic past. Korea was under Japan's brutal colonial rule from 1910-45.
Japan's military instead plans to dispatch a delegation to a symposium to be held as part of the event, the source added.
Thirteen foreign countries will participate in the fleet review.
South Korea has asked that participating ships hoist their own national flags and the South Korean one, the Taegeukki. (Yonhap)