A new plastic model for a Japan Maritime Force escort vessel is raising eyebrows in China. The model's box art seems to feature the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning engulfed in flames and sinking. Japanese fighter jets fly overhead.
Originally a Soviet carrier, the Liaoning is known for its curved incline to, as South China Morning Post explains, "launch" aircraft from its deck. This is different from US Navy aircraft carriers, which use a catapult-assisted system.
The model carries the words "Operation Senkaku", which are a set of islands that both China and Japan are claiming as their own.
Online in China, people have been quick to point out that the sinking aircraft carrier looks like the Liaoning. Xinhua, one of China's largest news sources, is even covering the plastic model, wondering why it mocks the Chinese navy. The reason, apparently, was that the Japanese navy has never lost to China or something to that effect.
However, online in Japan, people seemed to think it was a silly thing to get upset over, noting that it was just box art for a plastic model aimed at the military model maker niche. Some even pointed out that this model company in particular often has provocative box art and plastic models. Others said this was tame compared to all the hyper violent anti-Japanese dramas on Chinese TV.
With this newfound attention, some even pointed out that this model was headed for big sales. Everything according to keikaku, no doubt.
The Hyuga 1/700 scale model was released this past May. It's priced at around US$30.