The historical hatred between China and Japan is alive and well for many. And its latest incarnation is in the form of a proposal by 38 arts members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that suggests making “advocacy for Japanese militarism, fascism, and Bushido spirit” a punishable offence under criminal law.
American and Hong Kong action star, Jackie Chan, is one of the top Chinese political advisers calling for legislation to “protect national integrity and dignity.” This comes after a several cases of Chinese citizens showing Japan’s wartime military through a positive lens.
In late February two Chinese men have were detained for 15 days after photos of them dressed in WWII era Japanese uniforms at historic military fortifications in eastern China were posted online. According to a police statement, the men bought the military uniforms and equipment on the internet and took the pictures at Shaojiashan, an anti-Japanese war monument in Nanjing. The photos showed them holding replica rifles and a Japanese flag with inscriptions to pray for wartime success.
The incident occurred just a few months after Nanjing commemorated the 80th anniversary of the massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese troops.
In August of 2017, four young Chinese men also posed in Japanese military uniforms in front of Shanghai’s Sihang, or Continental Bank Warehouse, where Chinese troops defeated an invading Japanese force in a week-long battle in 1937. Chinese officials fear this behavior by its citizens is becoming a trend, with at least two other incidents of young Chinese men dressing in Japanese uniforms since the summer of 2017 and two Chinese tourists arrested in Berlin, caught taking photos of each other striking Nazi salutes in front of the historic Reichstag building. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi went on to label people who were “psychologically Japanese” as “degenerates”.
Additionally on Thursday, police detained a 35-year-old man in Nanjing for posting a video insulting the victims of the 1937 massacre in the city, which claimed thousands of lives and still serves as a source of intense conflict between Japan and China.
The CPPCC members’ suggestion has been submitted to proposal committee for consideration.
Featured Image Courtesy of Associated Press