Maroon 5 poster causes controversy in South Korea

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Maroon 5 poster causes controversy in South Korea

A poster promoting Maroon 5’s tour depicts a “rising sun flag,” which reminds some Koreans of Japan’s wartime atrocities. Screenshot via Maroon 5

SEOUL, July 5 (UPI) — American pop band Maroon 5 is being criticized in South Korea for a poster design ahead of its scheduled visit to the country in November.

The Grammy award-winning group announced its World Tour schedule on Saturday, including a concert in Seoul set for Nov. 30.

The group published a poster on its website that includes a design reminiscent of the Flag of the Rising Sun related to imperialistic Japan a century ago.

The flag, which depicts sunlight spreading out from the design of Japan’s national flag, reminds many Korean people of Japan’s wartime atrocities and history of colonial rule.

The Japanese navy used the controversial flag in the early 20th century when Japan colonized Korea, Taiwan and parts of China.

Maroon 5 generated similar debate when it used the flag in the music video for their 2012 hit song “One More Night.”

“The rising sun flag is comparable to the Nazi swastika. Some foreign outfits or organizations use the flag without a deep understanding of its meaning. Hence, they mostly scrap it when we protest,” Park Gi-tae, who leads the Voluntary Agency Network for Korea, told UPI News Korea.

“However, Maroon 5 would know its negative implications to Asians, including South Koreans, thanks to the past experiences. I don’t know why the band uses it again. We will take various measures for the group to do away with the flag from its website,” he said.

VANK is a non-governmental entity that requests foreign websites or agencies to correct wrong data about Korea.

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