Last Saturday on the resort island of Bali, 23-year-old Megan Young claimed victory for the Philippines and was crowned Miss World 2013. Promising to be the “best Miss World ever,” the model and actress shed tears of joy as the audience cheered, applauded and waved paper flags — a stark contrast to the angry and threatening atmosphere felt in Jakarta during the weeks prior to the contest.
Despite the enormous popularity of K-Pop, Korean food and beauty products, relations between Japan and South Korea have been strained for quite some time. In recent months, however, right wing groups have become increasingly vocal, with anti-Korean protests occurring more and more frequently, especially in areas where many Koreans congregate and live.
On 31 March in Shin-Ōkubo — a town situated just a couple of minutes away from Shinjuku on Tokyo’s Yamanote line and the location of a large Korean ethnic neighbourhood — hundreds of anti-Korean protesters marched through the streets carrying signs reading “Go back to Korea!” and labeling Koreans in Japan “cockroaches”. Thankfully, equally large numbers of liberally-minded Japanese also showed up to protest the protest.
A small protest was staged in Wuhan, Hubei Province on 27 November against the federal government’s screening process for female applicants. The protestors claim that applying for a civil servant’s position requires women to reveal personal information about the menstrual cycle.
Looking back at the violence that occurred in the anti-Japan protests in September, I’m still baffled at why those regular people got so crazy over a land dispute between two governments in some remote area. Maybe I’m the only one who lacks that patriotic spirit that compels one set fire to a factory over zoning issues.
Or perhaps like almost every world event in history, there are more complex – usually economic – factors at play beneath the surface. At least that’s what a group of Japanese writers and journalists claim. According to them, the stage was set for this explosion of anger years before it happened.
I’m sure we all have politicians whom we’re not especially fond of, and, while most of us would never go as far as taking a leak against one of their campaign posters, the thought of making our feelings known through… unusual… means might have occurred to us on more than one occasion. My own dear uncle, for instance, was once temporarily barred from entering the US after writing a particularly heartfelt letter to former president George W. Bush during his tenure. But that’s another story…
On Sunday this week, a 40-year-old man in Osaka decided that his strong dislike of politician Kei Yamamoto needed to be expressed physically, and, spotting the politician’s face on a poster down a quiet countryside road, decided to let rip with a golden shower of contempt.
Unfortunately for him, who should be cruising by at that exact moment but the politician himself…
Would you buy a pair of legs at US$60,000?
Last Tuesday morning, a man was spotted in Tianhe District of Guangzhou selling his legs. While sitting in the middle of an overhead bridge, the man wore on his legs a cardboard sign that read: “Legs for Sale! $30,000 each!”
In September, anti-Japan protests erupted in major cities in China in response to a dispute over territorial rights to the Senkaku islands (known as Diaoyu in China). Mobs angry protesters took to the streets and sought to destroy all Japanese products. Rioting protesters in Shenzen, China caused US $15,724 worth of property damage to a Japanese restaurant owned and operated by a Chinese man. Anti-Japan protesters also targeted Japanese-made cars, bashing and overturning Nissans and even senselessly beating a man for driving a Toyota during the protests.
China has seen its share of brutal attacks and acts of vandalism in the name of “patriotism.” However, one Chinese entrepreneur has found a peaceful way to express his patriotism by giving away over 5 million yuan (US $797,855) in domestically produced cars to the victims of the anti-Japan protests, complete with a gaudy, lime green presentation ceremony.
Hot on the heels of its highly successful Super Mario spoof animal fur campaign, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has launched a brand new flash game that centres on kids’ videogame favourite Pokémon, exposing the cruel truth behind the trainer / pocket monster relationship and prompting us all to think a little harder about how we treat animals.
The game, which mimics the style of the hugely popular videogame, has seen thousands of visits since its launch, and asks players to take on the role of captive pokémon as they battle with their abusive trainer for freedom. Read More
But what is it that got the Chinese people so worked up? Surely not everyone is that passionate about the Japanese nationalization of the disputed Senkaku Islands. Perhaps people just got carried away in the mob mentality?
According to one Chinese demonstrator, the Chinese government may have something to do with it, claiming that Chinese officials mobilized people to join the Anti-Japan demos by offering them payments of 100 yuan, or about $15 US.
As reported here on RocketNews24, on Tuesday last week, a flotilla of Taiwanese fishing boats was rumoured to have set off for the now infamous Senkaku archipelago, situated close to the Japanese island of Okinawa, with a view to asserting rightful ownership.
This report came just hours after stories of a similar fleet heading to the disputed islands from mainland China, which turned out to be false.
The initial rumour of the Taiwanese boats, however, proved to be true… Read More
To the pyromaniacal factions of protesters out there,
We’re sorry you recently got caught with egg on your faces after torching a Samsung outlet. To be fair, that’s not such a crazy mistake to make. But to have us believe Swiss-based watchmaker Rolex is somehow wrapped up in the Senkaku Islands row is a little much.
Then again, far be it from us to disagree with an angry mob. Maybe you know something we don’t?
After weeks of anti-Japanese protests in China, with many escalating into physical violence and damage to property, Japanese nationals and businesses alike are understandably on edge. With many stores being ransacked and any person thought to be supporting Japan in any way- including innocent Chinese civilians unfortunate enough to be seen driving Japanese-made vehicles- being attacked amidst mob violence, it is little wonder that people are doing whatever it takes to distance themselves from Japan.
Famous clothing brand Uniqlo- a Japanese company founded in Yamaguchi prefecture- opened its flagship Shanghai store in 2010 to much fanfare and excitement, suggesting that, irrespective of the differences the two countries may have, trendy fashions at low, low prices can bring people together in mutual consumer harmony.
It would seem, however, that even one of China’s most loved Japanese brand names is battening down the hatches for fear of mob reprisal… Read More
Anti-Japanese rallies in China continue to escalate as protesters in cities across the country have come out in the thousands, marching in front of diplomatic compounds, attacking Japanese businesses and burning Japanese flags (see photos of the destruction here).
The Chinese government has shown no signs of intervening and the unchecked violence has become a double-edged sword as many of the Japanese businesses vandalized were staffed by local employees and contribute to local tax revenue.
Now it seems the protests have begun to take a toll on human life as well: it was revealed on Sunday that at least one Chinese person was trampled to death in a protest and, even more tragic, another person was critically injured after being attacked for driving a Japanese car.
This weekend Japanese (and other) businesses in China have been the victims of a spate of arson attacks as well as vandalism and looting as anti-Japan protests have escalated to record levels since Japan and China established diplomatic ties in 1972.
Russian law and order has been getting a fair bit of heat over their “excessive” sentences of 2 years in prison for an anti-Putin protest in front of a cathedral in Moscow.
Now it appears Moscow police aren’t winning over the hearts of the global community again by apprehending mankind’s most favorite animal, the polar bear.
Violent anti-Japan protests, triggered by the recent landing of activists from China on some disputed islands, are now being reported in various cities in China. Less dramatic than the trashing of Chinese-owned Japanese cars and vandalism of Chinese-staffed Japanese restaurants, there have been calls to boycott Japan-made goods, which makes this fellow below a bit of a curiosity.
Check out the gear he’s wearing… Read More
Anti-Japanese demonstrations have been sweeping across China since Sunday in response to Japanese activists unfurling Japanese flags on a disputed island in the South China Sea, four days after Chinese activists landed on the same island.
Undoubtedly the most high-profile of the protests was in Shenzen, where some Chinese protesters burned Japanese flags and even turned violent, vandalizing Japanese cars and breaking into a local Japanese restaurant.
What the angry Chinese mob didn’t realize was that, like most Japanese eateries outside of Japan, the restaurant they ravaged was owned and operated by Chinese.
A Korean man protesting at the infamous Yasukuni Shrine was assaulted by a group of Japanese men on August 15, the 67th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.
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