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Japanese actor criticizes use of controversial flag

Actor Kunimura Jun suggested that Japan should back down from its insistence on flying the controversial Rising Sun Flag during its visit to Jeju Island.

Kunimura, one of the jury members for the New Currents section of the Busan International Film Festival, said that he understands how Koreans feel about the flag.

“I know very well that it is a tradition of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, but I know that Koreans think differently about that flag,” he said at a press conference Friday in Busan. “(The Self -Defense Force) would say that they cannot concede because it is tradition, but maybe since such things happened in Korea before, maybe they should.”

Kunimura Jun (Yonhap)
Kunimura Jun (Yonhap)

He also commented on the ultra-right movement in Japan.

“The Japanese government generally has a very conservative mind. It’s true that it is causing several social issues. Personally, I don’t think it is appropriate,” he said.

Kunimura, who debuted in 1981, has expanded his career beyond Japan to Hollywood and Korea. He is recognized here for his appearance in the 2016 horror film “The Wailing.”

New Currents is a section in which a panel of judges select a piece by rookie directors that they deem shows the most promise. It started in 1996.

The 23rd annual BIFF runs through Oct.3, across the city of Busan.

By Yoon Min-sik (