The Chinese and Japanese public hold negative attitudes toward each other. For example, a survey by the Beijing-Tokyo Forum at the end of 2020 shows that 52.9% of Chinese had a negative impression of Japan.
Recently, a video of police yelling at a Chinese woman wearing a Japanese-style Kimono went viral online. The female cosplayer was scolded and pulled about by the police on the street. Police then brought the woman to the police station on the grounds of her “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” and asked her to write a 500-word review.
According to ET Today News, the woman initially wore a Kimono to take photos with her friends. However, the police approached and took her to the police station.
The video shows that the police questioned the woman in a loud voice.[0:04-0:06] “If you are wearing Chinese clothes today, I will never say that” [0:08- 0:14] “but you wear a Kimono today, as a Chinese person, are you Chinese?”
The female cosplayer tried to explain, but the police completely ignored it and threatened that they would take her to the police station on the grounds of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
The video ended with the scene of the police holding her Kimono and pulling her away.
The woman then vented on social media to explain her frustration regarding the incident.
She said that in addition to writing a 500-word review, the police confiscated her phone and checked all its photos and records. The police also threatened her not to post anything online about this incident. They also called her school and asked the school to educate her. [Image]
The female cosplayer added, “I feel as if I have no human dignity now.”
Before this incident, she said she was patriotic and believed in the police. She once wore Hanfu to Japan, and some passersby told her that her Chinese outfits were so beautiful.
She further stated, “I can only say I’m really disappointed, it turns out that I never have the freedom to dress or speak.”
In the 1989 Beijing Tiananmen Square massacre, Chinese authorities used overwhelming force to repress the demonstrators. Then, the protests were student-led demonstrations calling for democracy in China.
As The Wall Street Journal reported, following the crackdown, in the early 1990s, the Chinese regime tried to rebuild its credentials. Since then, Beijing has continuously conducted anti-Japanese propaganda.
Over time, attitudes toward Japan have become so sensitive. If any official supports reconciliation, they may face career suicide.
Take Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as an example. He is Beijing’s pre-eminent Japanese expert who speaks Japanese fluently. Still, to avoid personal attacks, he doesn’t do so in public.
Chinese diplomats and scholars know the risks involved in promoting rapprochement with Tokyo.
Chu Shulong of Tsinghua University said, “If you [say] any nice words about Japan, then you will get an angry reaction from students.”