Sugoi JPN to stop using the Japanese rising sun flag on their branding and marketing
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Update: Thanks to all that have shown their support for this, unfortunately a vast majority of the signatures that we have had so far on this petition have been removed, so please can you ensure that you verify your email address with change.org once you have signed this petition so that you signature does not get removed. Thanks again to all that have shown their support.)
In association with the RFRA(Rising Flag Rising Awareness) and VANK(Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, I am starting this petition in the hope of drawing your attention to an issue that is of great historical and social importance to the East Asian communities of the UK. If you are not already aware, there is a restaurant in London called Sugoi JPN, located on Fulham Road in Bethnal Green, Chelsea, South Wimbledon and Palmers Green which is using the Japanese imperial rising sun flag as their official logo.
For anyone not familiar with East Asian History, this Rising Sun flag was adopted by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1870 and was used until the end of the second world war in 1945. Under the banner of this flag the Japanese invaded and subjected the people of the Korean Peninsula, the Southern regions of China and a vast majority of South East Asia. During this period they committed unspeakable acts of racism, sexual abuse, slavery and murder to the people of the countries in which they invaded.
I'm sure from the statement that you have just read above, you are already making the comparisons between this and the Nazi Swastika being associated to the acts carried out by Germany during the second world war and in fact to everyone in Asia, outside of Japan, the rising sun flag is the equivalent to the Nazi Swastika. In Modern Japan, as with many countries there is a rise in nationalism, racism and the far right political movements. This flag is the symbol they use regularly to show their superiority over other Asian Countries and cultures.
Sadly, there are fewer and fewer surviving veterans of World War Two every year so their experiences and stories are sometimes lost amongst the young generation.
Many British and commonwealth armed services members directly experienced atrocities at the hands of the Japanese in WW2. Those unlucky enough to be put into Japanese POW camps and those who fought them in Singapore, Burma and all over the Pacific. The horrors they experienced were inflicted by men carrying this rising sun flag and many are offended and hurt when they see the flag flying in Britain today.
This issue is not just about the east Asian communities in the UK, it is also about respect for British servicemen and women who fought against everything that flag stands for. It has become a pop culture item in modern times but not for those who saw it flying in the 1940s.
As a member of the Korean community in the UK I have always appreciated how culturally diverse and accepting the UK is and I completely understand if many non Asian Brits may not be aware of the history and of the actions of Japan during the period of the Japanese occupation of the Far East. However, for Asian members of the British community it is very hard for us to see this symbol being used as a means to market and promote a business. Especially given the fact that it was our Grandparents and some of the younger generations Great Grandparents that were growing up during; and directly affected by the occupation of Japan in their native countries.
Many members of the Korean community have raised this matter to the restaurant owners but they were ignored, comments added to the restaurant's social media pages were deleted and people were blocked.We are trying to raise awareness of this issue, imagine if a UK business decided to use the Nazi swastika on all the branding for their business, the country would be in an uproar and actually most sane and rational business owners would never even dream of using it.
By no means do I want to see this business close down, I simply would like to see Sugoi JPN revaluate the symbolism that they have chosen to represent Japan on their company logo and branding and marketing.
I have added the below link to an article about the recent use of the rising sun flag on a tv show and the subsequent apology that they sent out after they had realised that it was in bad taste.
other news about the raising sun flag :
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