South Korea on Wednesday kicked off an international fleet review involving 13 nations, after Japan bowed out in protest at Seoul's demand it remove a controversial 'Rising Sun' naval flag from Tokyo's warship.
The emblem has been an ensign for Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Forces since 1954, but is seen in much of east Asia as a symbol of its military aggression during the Second World War.
Koreans remain resentful of Japan's 1910-45 colonisation of the peninsula and the neighbours -- both of them US allies --- have often locked horns over issues of history and a territorial row over Seoul-controlled islets also claimed by Tokyo.
Tokyo dismissed the request, arguing that it was mandatory to fly the "Rising Sun" flag under Japanese law.
A total of 13 countries including the South, the US, Russia and India are set to show off 41 warships -- including the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier -- and more than 20 military planes at this year's event, with the main display on Thursday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)