A literal "false flag" operation, it seems

You’ve probably all heard about the kerfuffle over the big banner at a recent football match in Korea, which was all Japan’s fault:

The Korean Football Association also posted a statement on its website that blamed Japanese supporters at the match for the banner, linking it to display of a "rising sun" Japanese flag, considered by many Koreans as an emblem of Japan’s historical militarism and occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

Skipping over the illogic in that statement, according to someone who appears to be an official photographer or something for the JFA:

As for the flag on Sunday, can you tell me where in the stadium that was? Because I can tell you. It was right next to the Italian flag that was on the upper deck (and fuck knows what that was all about), far removed from the main group of Japan supporters who have condemned the Rising Sun flag. You can see it here.

The guy flying the giant Japanese flag in that picture is the same guy who flew the Rising Sun flag. He’s a Yokohama F. Marinos supporter (top right) who’s actually banned from their stadium for doing some stupid shit. He’s also been waving the giant flag for several years – I know this because he told me while we were waiting in line at the airport on Monday. He’d mentioned that someone had tried waving the Rising Sun flag but it didn’t register that he was talking about himself until I caught up on sleep and got a better look at all the photos.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that he is also a Shit-Back-That-Racist Crew member, these ultra-leftists looking to give law-abiding patriots a good kicking.

  1. Ialsolikelivinghere

    According to the WSJ, “The Korean Football Association [blamed] Japanese supporters for triggering the display of the banner by waving a flag that is considered provocative by many Koreans”. So a Japanese flag was waved, and in response Korean supporters hurriedly scribbled something on a 50 meter long banner that they happened to carry with them? Hardly.

    On the other hand, the Japanese sports minister Hakubun Shimomura missed a great opportunity to be silent when he said the incident “called into question the nature of the [South Korean] people”.

    Apart from that, much ado about nothing. Why is this even discussed?

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  2. For what it’s worth, this is what I came away with after watching this match:

    1. The entire incident obviously had official backing. The organization required to plan and execute the manufacture of gigantic banners, on which political slogans and the elaborate images of historical figures have been printed, far exceeds that of casual sports fans. These signs must have taken weeks to make, hours to set up, and careful planning to display.

    2. The fact that many of these “supporters” left after the banners were removed at halftime suggests to me that they weren’t there for the soccer in the first place.

    3. The entire incident was political theater for the sole consumption of Korean audiences on home turf. If they truly had intended the Japanese players and supporters to read this message, wouldn’t they have at least displayed it in the proper language?

    I suppose the fact that this entire thing really pisses me off makes me an Apologist(TM), but in this case it’s less about Japan-Korea relations and more about plain ol’ sportsmanship and fair play. I don’t think this sort of bullshit at sporting events is any different than the monkey chants, or Belgians yelling “FUKUSHIMA!” at Eiji Kawashima back in 2011, or the laser pointer guys, or the coin throwers. And that’s just rowdy fans — this Korean thing was undoubtedly something more institutional in nature.

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