Rep. Shim Jae-kwon of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said Wednesday products designed after the Rising Sun Flag are being sold at online shopping sites worldwide.
Merchandise range from clothes, shoes, sports socks, mugs, backpacks, pillow sheets to iPad pouches, mouses, speakers, headsets, money clips, car stickers and other accessories.
In addition to the numerous categories, the products’ prices also vary widely. In the United States, e-commerce sites including Amazon and eBay sell the products at comparatively cheap prices. Rising Sun flag design T-shirts to dresses cost between $9 and $29.
Meanwhile at MercadoLibre, an Argentine online marketplace company and Latin America’s most popular e-commerce site, high-priced products with designs based on the Japanese military flag are being sold, including headsets and speakers that each cost $894 and $733, respectively.
Shim explained his reasoning for the roots of the issue by pointing to the international community’s unawareness of the meaning behind the flag.
“Germany prohibited by law the use of the Swastika, which was used as the central emblem of the Nazis in the Second World War,” he said. “The problematic merchandise is being produced because many countries still do not know what the flag means.”
Shim added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ efforts, including civic campaigns and complaint letters, are not enough to tackle these problems. He said academic conferences or seminars should be held and that systematic improvements must be made to inform the meaning behind the flag.
By Kim Jee-min (firstname.lastname@example.org)