Japanese Embassy, Companies Face Harsh Mood in China; Historic Anniversaries in September Add to Tension

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Barricades are seen at the entrance to a Japanese school in Beijing on Sunday.

BEIJING — The Japanese Embassy and Japanese companies in China have been on high alert amid a mounting anti-Japan mood before memorial events involving Japan-China relations that will be held mainly in September.

Heightening the sense of caution, Japan-related facilities in China have been the targets of a series of harassing incidents since the start of Japan’s discharge into the ocean of treated water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

After the start of the release of treated water on Aug. 24, eggs and stones were thrown onto the grounds of Japanese schools in Qingdao, Shandong Province, and in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. On the evening of Aug. 24, one person was detained by police after pieces of bricks were thrown at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

Under such circumstances, the embassy and other Japan-related facilities have been strengthening their security.

There will be multiple memorial ceremonies involving Japan-China relations, such as those for a national day designated by the Chinese government to “mark the victory in the war against Japan” on Sept. 3. Another is the Sept. 18 anniversary of the 1931 Liutiaohu bombing that began the Manchurian Incident. And Sept. 11 marks the day when the Japanese government nationalized the Senkaku Islands in 2012.

On Sept. 18, 2012, anti-Japan demonstrations were held in about 100 cities in China. Those of Beijing and Shanghai involved more than 10,000 protesters.

The Chinese government is believed to be cautious about a situation in which large-scale demonstrations in the name of anti-Japan protests could morph into mounting criticism against the Chinese government itself, according to sources.

It is highly possible that Chinese authorities will try to keep such demonstrations under control, but the Japanese Embassy is calling on Japanese nationals in China to act with care. Some Japanese firms in Beijing are even urging their employees to refrain from eating out at restaurants.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A sign in a Beijing restaurant district where there are many Japanese restaurants is seen on Tuesday. It states, “The serving all marine products imported from Japan has been stopped.”