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Man ignites furor with Japanese flag on Korea’s March 1 holiday

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The Japanese national flag hoisted on the balcony of an apartment building in Sejong on Wednesday [YONHAP]
A Sejong resident who faced a fierce backlash from neighbors for hoisting a Japanese flag on the March 1 Independence Movement holiday claimed the move was to support President Yoon Suk Yeol’s statement calling Japan a “partner” in tackling global issues.

March 1 is a holiday that commemorates the nationwide uprising against Japanese colonial rule in 1919.

On Wednesday, the person in question hoisted a Japanese national flag on the balcony of his apartment in Sejong. As footage of the flag spread through social media, other residents of the apartment complex complained and asked for the flag to be removed.

The person told JTBC that the action was to support Yoon’s remarks during a ceremony commemorating the 104th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement on Wednesday morning. Yoon said Japan “transformed from a militaristic aggressor of the past into a partner that shares the same universal values.”

Speaking to a Yonhap journalist, the person claimed that he’s a Japanese national and hates Korea.

However, according to Yonhap, a Sejong city official said he’s registered as a Korean on his apartment residency card, and that he knows neither why the man claimed to be Japanese nor why he hoisted the Japanese flag.

The person’s personal information and nationality have not been disclosed.

He reportedly made derogatory remarks about Koreans and President Moon Jae-in’s supporters when the neighbors asked him to take the Japanese flag down.

The flag was eventually removed around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

BY LEE SU-MIN [sohn.dongjoo@joongang.co.kr]