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Japan

The national flag of Japan is a white rectangular flag with a large red disk (representing the sun) in the centre.

A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships in February 1870, and as the national flag used by the Navy. Use of the flag was severely restricted during the early years of the American occupation after World War II, although restrictions were later relaxed.

The first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan was said to be by Emperor Mommu in his court in 701, and this is the first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan. The oldest existing flag is preserved in a temple in Yamanashi, which is older than 16th century, and an ancient legend says that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century.




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