TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Olympic organisers said on Friday they may designate Japan's "Rising Sun" flag as the flag of a non-participating country - which could lead to the controversial banner being banned from use at venues at next year's Summer Games.

The flag, a centuries-old symbol that was also used by Japan's military during World War Two, is the latest diplomatic football in a worsening feud between South Korea and Japan over the bitter legacy of their shared past.

South Korea's Sports Ministry this week asked the International Olympics Committee to prohibit any use of the flag, which it likened to the Nazi's use of the swastika.

The use of non-participating countries' flags can be restricted at Olympic venues. A Tokyo organising committee spokesman said he could not confirm if this would apply to the "Rising Sun" flag.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by William Mallard)

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