Once again someone in China dresses up as a Japanese wartime soldier. Once again it ends badly

Leader of promotional event detained for organising march through streets in military uniform

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 6:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, 2:56pm

Police in eastern China have detained a man for organising a parade of people dressed as Japanese imperial soldiers, the latest in a string of similar incidents.

Police in Lianyungang, a city in Jiangsu province, received a call on Sunday from people who had spotted the parade, according to the official Weibo account of the Gangyu district public security bureau.

Officers found there were more than 10 people in uniforms carrying imitation sabres and firearms. They were led by 32-year-old local surnamed Zhong, who said he was planning a promotional event for a short film he was making and a local car company.

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A video on news portal youth.cn shows the team holding signs with the words “Japs coming to Ganyu”, the name of a short film that online entertainment group Ganyu Huanzi was planning to shoot.

Some were also holding signs with QR codes leading to the homepage of a local car dealer, Jiangsu Yongcheng.

Police said they had detained Zhong for disrupting public order and is looking into the case of others involved.

The phone number listed on the car firm’s website was turned off when the South China Morning Post called, while Ganyu Huanzi’s phone was busy all Tuesday.

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The Chinese authorities have in the past shown zero tolerance for “jingri” individuals, or people who are “Japanese in spirit”.

Millions of Chinese people died following the Japanese invasion in the 1930s and the legacy of the conflict continues to bedevil relations between the two countries to this day.

Last August four men were detained in Shanghai for dressing up in Japanese uniforms and taking photos at a battleground.

In February, photos of two men in Japanese uniforms posing in front of a memorial in Nanjing – where up to 300,000 Chinese were massacred during the Japanese invasion – went viral online.

Nanjing police announced two days later the two were detained for 15 days for “severely hurting national feelings”.

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These and other similar incidents promoted the country’s foreign minister Wang Yi to call those responsible “scum among Chinese people” in March.

In August, the Nanjing People’s Congress drafted a law that planned to make “jingri” a criminal activity.

It stated that anyone who distorted or denied the Nanking massacre (its historic name), wore second world war Japanese uniforms at national memorials or invaded the legal rights of victims or survivors of the massacre could be detained or face criminal prosecution.