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Japan considers whether to participate in South Korea fleet review

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is considering whether it will participate in an international fleet review in South Korea next week, the top government spokesman said on Friday, amid demands for it to refrain from flying its “Rising Sun” flag on a warship.

“It’s under consideration by the defence ministry,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference, following a report by public broadcaster NHK that Japan had decided to skip the event over the protests about the flag.

North Korea on Friday joined South Korea in demanding that Japan not fly the flag, which both see as a symbol of the country’s past military aggression.

Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Clarence Fernandez