‘Regrettable & unacceptable’: Japan’s Olympic minister blasts South Korean posters showing torch bearer in protective suit
“The use of such a poster is unacceptable,” Hashimoto said at a press conference on Friday adding that the creation of such pictures is “very regrettable.”
A series of posters depicting an Olympic torch runner wearing a hazmat suit were produced by the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a private group in South Korea who said they wanted to raise awareness about ecological issues in Japan.
The runner’s suit and green radioactive flame spewing from the torch apparently referred to the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011 after a devastating 15-meter tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant causing high radioactive releases.
ＩＯＣ、防護服聖火ランナーのポスターめぐり韓国民間団体を非難https://t.co/UvLMUUQgW7→ＩＯＣが非難したのは「サイバー外交使節団」を名乗る団体で、「旭日旗＝戦犯旗」と主張する映像を動画投稿サイト「ユーチューブ」にアップする運動なども展開している「ＶＡＮＫ」— 産経ニュース (@Sankei_news) February 10, 2020
The prefecture was included in the route of the Olympic Torch Relay with Japanese officials stating there would be no radiation threat to the relay participants.
“We included messages of warning about the safety of radiation, the biggest concern during the Tokyo Olympics,” the VANK said. “Host country Japan said agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture are safe and announced that it will provide them for Olympic athletes.”
昨日の韓国の聯合ニュース(韓国語)の要旨。IOCが「VANKが五輪エンブレムを無断使用し、政治的メッセージを投げかけたことは正しくなく、今後このような行為をしてはならない」と警告。VANKは「日本の右翼政治家の立場のみ一方的に受容する行為」と批判。https://t.co/4RzTRhy4y8— 山田宏 自民党参議院議員 (@yamazogaikuzo) February 6, 2020
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government lodged complaints with South Korea regarding the posters which they found “unacceptable.”
Earlier this week Japanese officials said the deadly coronavirus outbreak would not affect the schedule of the upcoming Summer Games.