‘Japanese-style’ summer festivals cancelled in Chinese cities

File photo : A cosplay fan attends the China International Comics Games Expo in Shanghai, China July 7, 2017.

SHANGHAI — A growing number of Chinese cities are cancelling “Japanese-style” summer festivals and events featuring anime and manga.

Observers say organizers may be worried about being criticized online for holding such events in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations in September.

The spate of cancellations started with a “summer festival” slated to be held July 17 in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province.

The event was to feature a more than 10-meter-tall torii shrine gate and Bon odori dancing. However, it was cancelled after being criticized as an “incursion by Japanese culture,” partly because it was due to take place in the city where the Nanjing Incident by the Imperial Japanese Army occurred, among other reasons.

According to Chinese media, following this initial cancellation, organizers of “Japanese-style” summer festivals in various parts of the country have increasingly been pulling such events.

One entertainment park issued a statement saying it was a “patriotic facility.”

A Japan-China diplomatic source expressed concern about a growing online trend that criticizes events related to Japanese culture.