A Chinese reporter apologised after coming under attack from nationalistic critics over her emotional response to the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on Friday. Zeng Ying, a Japan-based reporter with online news portal ThePaper.cn, could be heard sobbing in a video report about the shooting. Zeng also spoke highly of Abe, saying he opened the door to more Chinese tourists in Japan and tried to amend the Japanese constitution to be less dependent politically and militarily on the US. Her comments and reaction drew ire from nationalistic internet users in China, who see Abe as representative of a Japanese right-wing in denial about the country’s war crimes. “We don’t see any Japanese reporters crying for Abe. how come a Chinese journalist being so heartbroken?” one commenter said. Zeng later apologised on her social media account for being “unprofessional” by showing personal emotion on a public platform and “hurting everyone’s feelings”. But she insisted she would continue to try to be “a kind and integrated person” and pray for peace between China and Japan. “No terrorist act should be celebrated,” Zeng said. The attack on Zeng reflected the overwhelming nationalistic response to Abe’s death on the internet in China. Some popular internet platforms such as bilibili temporarily closed or strictly censored comment sections because of some extreme views posted online. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said he had “no comment” on the online reaction. Some influential nationalistic opinion leaders have sought to temper the online response. Expressing sympathy for Abe, Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of nationalistic tabloid Global Times, said on his Weibo account that political complexities should be set aside for the moment. “I hope more people can understand and join me,” Hu said. Jin Canrong, a hawkish international relations analyst, retweeted Hu’s post and said he had to close one group of his own followers. “I suggest everyone retain respect for human life, be patriotic in a rational way and comment in a rational way,” he said.