OK, Tensions Between China And Japan Are Getting Serious

OK, Tensions Between China And Japan Are Getting Serious

Anti-Japan tempers continue to flare in China. Japanese stores are being vandalised and looted, and Japanese factories are being destroyed. The images emerging from China can be described as unreal — shocking, even. Last month, the anti-Japan protests started brewing in China over disputed islands (called “Senkaku” in Japan and “Diaoyu” in China). There are supposedly oil reserves near the uninhabitable islands, the control of which the U.S. transferred to Japan in 1972. This month, the Japanese government nationalized the islands, setting off China. These latest protests are even more widespread — erupting at over 100 cities across the country — as well as more violent and vicious.

According to AP, Japanese stores such as Aeon, Heiwado, Uniqlo have been vandalised. A Toyota dealership and a Panasonic factory in Qingdao were set on fire. Many Japanese restaurants — or Japanese sounding — restaurants have also been attacked by mobs.

Even the new Resident Evil movie has been marred by the tensions between China and Japan.

While Japanese companies are being targeted, many Chinese own these Japanese restaurants — as well as the Japanese cars that are being kicked and smashed. The violence has even resulted in an unfortunate loss: One 21 year-old Chinese college student was trampled to death during a protest in Xi’an City. Another Chinese person in Xi’an was dragged from his Toyota and beaten so severely that he might be paralysed.


There’s speculation that the government is encouraging the protests — something that website China Geeks does a good job of explaining. Two ways it’s possible to see how the Chinese government could be supporting the protests is that it’s allowing them to continue, and it’s splashing them all over the front-page news.

What’s more, the official line, according to one insider, is that the government and the Chinese national media view this as a “peaceful protest”. The protests, which are erupting across the country, are anything but. Riot police were called in near a Japanese department store in Shenzhen.


It’s important to remember, of course, that not all Chinese are taking to the streets and looting stores. As website Sino Stand explains about a recent protest at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing: “…it’s hard to say how many people present at the protest were active nationalists, how many came because they thought it’d be cool or interesting, and how many just happened to walk by and stuck around.” At the Japanese Embassy protest, pictures have surface on Chinese social networking sites of eggs being distributed to protestors (2 per person!) to throw at the embassy.

The anger at these protests doesn’t seem to be directed only Japan. At the aforementioned Japanese Embassy protest, the crowd started chanting, “Fuck the U.S.A.” Looters even smashed up a Rolex store and a Christian Dior.


To avoid being vandalised, some Japanese owned stores are blacking out their names on signs, having staff wear patriotic armbands and playing nationalistic Chinese music. Some shops are even putting signs out front saying that the disputed islands belong to China. Former Japanese porn star Aoi Sora, who’s widely popular in China, uploaded a picture of herself holding a sign that said the islands belong to China. That might keep her employed in China, but it could make for awkward trips home.

As with previous protests, Chinese people are also are hurt by this mob violence. It’s Chinese people who work in the stores and at these factories. It’s Japanese companies who bring their businesses to China. Japan needs China, and China needs Japan.

So what’s with the protests? The Chinese government could be turning a blind eye to them as a release valve. What’s more, this could be a distraction: Unemployment in China could be much higher than the official figures, the economy could be doing much worse than the government is letting on, and the party leadership is changing. (There are also banking problems, food safety problems, health care problems, and pollution issues, among many, many other woes.)

Japanese companies like Sony and Nintendo should be not be effected by these protests as they have Foxconn build their products — thus, these roving mobs don’t have a “Sony” or “Nintendo” sign they can flock to and destroy. (Kotaku is following up with both companies.) Sony retailers in China could be targeted, however. “We all know these products are made in China, but with a Japanese brand, but it’s just the way it is,” Yan Long, a Sony laptop store manager, told AP. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be, either.

(Photos: Sina Weibo)
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  • Dammit, I just wish everyone would just stop this bullsh*!
    Can’t they just mine whatever they want from that area of dispute, and share the resources equally or something?
    Almost makes you prefer the world of the Walking Dead…
    Can’t wait for episode 4!!

    • It’s all about the US.

      US declared that the island belong to Japan.
      US set up Israel in the middle east after WWII.
      US split Korea into North and South.
      US split Germany into East and West (big tension during the 80’s)

      • I think you will find Britain and Russia were also involved.Further the Japanese claimed the island PRIOR to WW2. The US administered the islands then handed administration BACK!!!! Please state fact not BS.

      • You know the US are not my favourite government but seriously WTF blatantly misleading BS such as this ad hoc crap is offensive.

        • Yeah I know right – US is copping way flak more then they deserve. If people wanna be stupid and riot/break shit lock them up and let them cool off.

          • Ou kidding, the USAdeserve worst.
            America has destroyed live.
            Julian Assange finally uncovered the truth about america now they want him to do god knows wat. America Has put the world into Financial depressions over and over again. No one should feel srry for america, they have cause so many countries to become targets to terrorist.

            Whats happening inJapan and china is nothingcompared to wat happens in america every day.

            So much of the world is busy worrying about other countries instead of our own, sad

          • You’re right, we should worry about our own country. The education department for one, because they have failed you.

      • It’s not about the US.

        US return to Japan (the pre-WW2 claimants/owners) administration of the islands.
        UN held conferences regarding the split of british middle eastern territories for Jewish and Arab communities.
        UN split Korea as a last resort for peace after the armistice.
        US/UK/France/Soviet Union split Germany after WW2 for administrative purposes.

  • The clock as striked midnight in this year of 2012.

    Everything is accelerating faster & faster, what ever no longer works will fall apart. We’re in a sense in the transition between the old ways and the new upcoming way that will lead humanity forward in evolution. We may very well see nations dissolving, currencies crumbling, and governments toppling. We’re in a sense in the phase of shedding off the outworn skin that no longer suits us so that the new layer can breath the fresh air for the first time.

  • Insane nutcases. Those vandals should be put in prison, not encouraged. Heck the Chinese government should get a change in leadership too. Hopefuly not changed to a violent insane one.

  • Pfft, I’d say let the idiots continue until they run out of energy, they’re blind enough that they cant see the things and people they’re destroying are their’s. It would be a different matter if they rocked up to Japan’s doors and did all these things INSIDE Japan; but no. Right now they’re just raging and rampaging like a bunch of five year old’s destroying their own possessions.

    I hope they beat the stupid out of each other.

  • ive long been ashamed to be chinese
    theres nothing to be proud of these days
    fastest economy my ass
    abuse the environment, abuse the people as slave labours, corrupt government, propaganda brainwashed kids, wealth gap, poor government controls where its needed, exploitative upper class
    and general population so desperate to be wealthy they take advantage of anything with no morals

      • Bruce Lee you mean the Chinese man that betrayed his kind by marrying a white woman. :).
        ive long been ashamed to be chinese
        theres nothing to be proud of these days
        fastest economy my ass
        abuse the environment, abuse the people as slave labours, corrupt government, propaganda brainwashed kids, wealth gap, poor government controls where its needed, exploitative upper class
        and general population so desperate to be wealthy they take advantage of anything with no morals
        a lot of these apply to many industrialized nations you cant just single out China. Look Japan has to learn they where only keeping the throne warm for China. China has more people ,resources and land. The 800 pound gorilla in the room of Asia is China not Japan.

  • At this point, it seems to be more people venting their frustrations, and just using the situation as an excuse (pretty much the exact same sort of stuff that happend in the london riots), and the Chinese government probably will just let them vent on those companies in the hopes that the riots tire themselves out before they get the idea to turn on government properties.

  • Just when I think we’re becoming a more enlightened and civilized society, I read crap like this and realise we’re no more evolved than cavemen with sticks. Let’s pray that Darwin’s theory is put to work as animals like this destroy each other.

  • “It’s important to remember, of course, that not all Chinese are taking to the streets and looting stores.”

    Indeed.. this should have been bolded in big letters.

    This was similar reaction a few years back to France.. and another time in reaction to Tibet stuff..

    These are extremists.. like in every country and culture across the world.. When you have a population in excess of 1.5 billion, that small percentage of people is a much bigger number than normal. We also know that a small group of people can incite other, usually non-violent people, to violence.

    remember the nuclear fallout in Japan? Chinese people started to stock up on salt…. yes.. salt. Incited by a small group of people.. it spreads like wildfire..

  • If the United States don’t get involved in this big mess between Japan and China, the island might belong to one of them really fast, but the United States do get involved it is World War Three!!!!

  • So its true – WWIII will start and the world will *end* its current cycle on 21st of December 2012……start to have fun now guys….

  • Considering our own (Australian) violent protests this weekend past perhaps we should be a bit less judgmental.

    We had people using their right to free speech to urge our government to take some American guys right of free speech away because he made a youtube video and they didn’t like it. And while they where a peaceful group many turned up with masks on so they couldn’t be identified as they started destroying things.

    Stupid Violence is Stupid, no matter where and no matter why.

    • But thats the problem…where the whole human race is concerned – Stupid people only understand stupid Violence is the answer….the rest of us have to live with the consequences.

  • What do a Swiss watch company and a French fashion company have to do with this?Sounds to me more like the London or L.A. riots, just an excuse to loot.The Chinese government should be wary of such behaviour as a billion people+ rioting would surely be uncontrollable.

  • It goes to show you even though China is such an advanced country in regard to technology, many poeple there are still the stupid brainwashed morons that the govenment has made them to be.
    Really the ownership of these islands would not effect the average person in China one bit, yet they still resort to mindless violent behavour like this.
    In Japan nothing like this happens, there are alot of protests (especially after Fukushima) but people here don’t lose control like this. I’d say because people in Japan have some brains of their own.
    Oh I’m sorry China have the support of a Japanese porn star! great and I’m sure she is a smart cookie! Although she is dam hot (I like here videos…nice!)

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