Anti-Japanese fever reaches fervour-like levels
by Horsch Keith
Confident that their own country's textbooks contain nothing but pure fact with no omissions, Chinese protesters took part in nationwide protests against Japan these last two weeks. Japanese consulates, businesses and companies were targeted (as well as two students) and later Japanese products themselves.
Mr Long, from Chengdu, decided that as a patriot he would have to smash his Sony Laptop computer, which he had bought only days before for 20,000 RMB. He did this by throwing it from the window of his 4th storey apartment to a braying mob below. Within seconds the computer was in pieces, a mangled heap of munched up circuits, screws and "made in China" stickers. One man was taken to the emergency ward after trying to eat the computer's mouse cord.
"I am a journalist, and had a lot of important files on my laptop" explains Mr Long "...but my anger was more important. I will probably lose my job for missing deadlines, but when I saw the list of Japanese companies (published by a collective of Chinese manufacturers) who had personally written the new textbook - many of whom also compete with Chinese companies here in China, coincidentally - my blood just turned to fire! If I can ever afford a new computer, I will get one from a country that has not behaved so terribly in the past."
Miss Qing, a student at Qinghua University, decided to destroy her entire music collection after discovering that CDs were invented in Japan. The CDs were "scratched", "melted" and "snapped" in her fit of rage.
Japan: disliked, apparently
This scene was repeated across the country, as millions of angry patriots threw away their cameras, mobile phones and televisions, blocking streets and roads. In a bizarre incident in Sichuan, a group of tourists on a river tour were trapped for 15 hours behind a "dam" consisting of discarded DVD players, cars and cosmetics. Mr Hull from Adelaide described what he saw:
"As the boat rounded the bend, I was on the main deck, taking mundane video footage of the banks to show to everyone when I returned home. Up ahead I caught site of what I thought was a construction project. As I drew closer however, I realised that my initial estimate was wishful at best, and at worst, completely deluded." Mr Hull went on to describe a deeply disturbing hulk of electronics - too disturbing, in fact, to reproduce here.
A Mr Tan, from Guangzhou, was listening to the radio on the way to work when he remembered that his own car was a Honda Odyssey III. He sent the following text to his boss:
"I believe that it is not just Japanese products, but those who purchase them as well, who should be targeted in this campaign. Thus I have decided to set my car on fire, from the inside, and remain seated while the flames consume me."
Mr Tan's smouldering remains and vehicle were found hours later by some kids skipping classes. In an irony that will never be known by Mr Tan, his message was received on his bosses Sony Mobile phone. In a further irony, his wife plans to spend his life-insurance payment on a new Lexus. In yet another irony, Nippon Flags, an Osaka based company which produces Japanese flags here in China with flammable material, has reported a soar in profits over the last few weeks.
The protests continue - Nanjing University has mounted a poster campaign on campus exhorting students to avoid looking at the sunrise.