China Tries to Tamp Down Nationalist Fervor Over Abe Shooting

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China Tries to Tamp Down Nationalist Fervor Over Abe Shooting

  • Shinzo Abe

Bloomberg News

Fri, 8 July 2022 at 3:40 am·2-min read

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  • Shinzo AbeShinzo Abe90th・96th〜98th Prime Minister of Japan

(Bloomberg) — Leading nationalist figures in China tried to silence celebrations after the shooting of Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese leader who sparked controversy by urging to Japan to bolster its military.

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A social media account of China Central Television was filled with comments rejoicing in the attack that killed Abe. One Weibo post said it would be fitting if Abe atoned with his life for Japan’s invasion of China before World War II just a day after the 85th anniversary of the start of hostilities in 1937. That post got 210,000 likes.

After Abe died, a post saying “Let the celebrations begin!” got more than 150,000 likes within 30 minutes.

In a sign that the Chinese government didn’t want the nationalist sentiment to spiral out of control, Hu Xijin wrote on Weibo before news Abe had died that “this is the time to put aside political disputes.” Hu, the former editor of the Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper, added: “I hope there can be more people who understand and join me.”

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing who once suggested China will be ready to seize Taiwan by force in 2027, wrote on Weibo that his followers should rein in their commentary. “What happened today is a tragedy,” Jin said.

Ex-Japan Leader Abe Assassinated in Shooting at Campaign Rally

Abe angered the Chinese government and especially the more nationalist segment of the ruling party both while he was in office and after he stepped down, especially for pushing Japan to increase defense spending and revise the pacifist article in its constitution. In 2013, his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo drew a quick rebuke from China for paying respects at a site that memorializes war-dead including World War II criminals.Story continues





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