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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

China's Anti-Japan Protests Roar On 9/18 Memorial Day

Gracie Zheng |
September 18, 2012 | 8:20 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Anti-Japan sentiment reached a new high Tuesday in China at an anniversary 

A routine flag ceremony at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing. (Joseph A Ferris III/Flickr)
A routine flag ceremony at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing. (Joseph A Ferris III/Flickr)
of Japan's 1931 invasion into northeastern China, also known as 9/18 in Chinese or Mukden Incident in English-speaking countries.  

The Chinese characters for anti-Japan and 9/18 have become top trending keywords on China's twitter-like Sina Weibo, which has more than 300 million registered users. 

As anti-Japan protests spread over more cities in China, Chinese social media saw a growing online hassle of divided opinions on people's violent behavior during anti-Japanese protests. 

Many are vehement supporters of anti-anything-Japanese as can be seen in slogans, posters and comments at Sina Weibo. 

  • “Let's get rid of the four evils for the world: cockroaches, flies, rats and the Japanese.”
  • “9/18, I can't forget that day of national humiliation. I'll always hate the Japanese no matter what .”
  • “Beat down the Japanese! Diaoyu islands belong to China!”

A number of Chinese netizens consider damaging compatriots' personal property and belongings "unacceptable and irrational" and that some people are going too far under the influence of sweeping anti-Japan mania. 

  • “Apparently some people loot others' property under the pretext of patriotism.”
  • “Be a country-lover not a country-destroyer. Smashing Chinese people's property isn't anti-Japanese, it's anti-Chinese. “
  • “Today is the 81st anniversary of the 9/18. I hope we maintain a rational and peaceful anti-Japan protest.”

Zhang Quanling, a well-known host on state-run CCTV, said on her Weibo account, "Gangsters are only intended to smash cars, and to dine and dash. Patriotism is only the excuse they use to do these things. I hope rational voices can warn those who want to follow them blindly."

Protests broke out in Chinese cities last week over disputed islands of Senkaku, called Diaoyu islands in China, after the Japanese government decided to buy parts of Diaoyu islands from a private Japanese owner. 

Japanese businesses such as Panasonic reported losses and damages at recent angry protests in China.

Some Japanese firms including automakers Honda, Mazda and Nissan announced that they would close their factories in China on Monday as a bigger anti-Japan protest looms large across the country on the memorial day, according to Reuters

Some Japanese restaurants used Chinese flags as talismans trying to stay safe in the nationwide anti-Japan sentiment that is recently embodied in protesters smashing and burning down Japanese cars, ransacking Japanese stores and restaurants. Some restaurants put up Chinese signs that read, "Diaoyu islands belong to China" and "Resolutely boycotting Japanese products" as I-don't-want-to-get-into-trouble messages to Chinese protesters to protect their businesses. 

Global Times, a daily tabloid subordinate to the People's Daily, an organ of Chinese government, disapproves of violence as an appropriate solution to the China-Japan dispute over Diaoyu islands. 

From Global Times

"Violent protests plague many countries, especially developing economies. Anti-US protests are currently marring the Arab world. China has been making progress in staging orderly protests in recent years. Street protests have not necessarily been disorderly on every occasion. In major hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, protests are often carried out in a more civilized way. Meanwhile, voices against violent protests are on the rise. This time is no different. Violence cannot be tolerated simply because the protests are aimed at Japan." 


See Neon Tommy's coverage of China's anti-Japan protests here.

Reach Executive Poducer Gracie Zheng here.




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