When Japan began discharging treated nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean on Aug. 24, the Chinese regime suspended the import of Japanese aquatic products.
As this occurred, Chinese internet censors began blocking objective discussions of the health risks of the discharge.
China’s state media also used the incident to launch a propaganda war against Japan, further fanning anti-Japanese sentiment among the Chinese population.
Not long after Aug. 24, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) anti-Japanese propaganda appeared to cool down, with political commentators saying its propaganda efforts backfired and the regime is now attempting to redirect the tide of public opinion.
Towards the end of August, the CCP’s state media published several articles where it changed its tone, saying that almost all the ingredients used in Japanese restaurants in China are produced locally.
On Aug. 28, two Internet stars who pose as “patriotic” content creators—those who often defend the CCP’s stance and policies, were banned by Weibo for their anti-Japanese remarks.
The Weibo administrator issued a notice stating that when participating in discussions on socially sensitive topics, one should be “cautious with one’s words and deeds” and refrain from “misinterpreting China's policies related to economy, foreign affairs, ethnicity, and religion.”
The two internet stars—one with 4.9 million followers and the other with 469,000—both posted a video of the late Marxist professor Ai Yuejin of China's Nankai University clamoring to “destroy those Japs.”
'Set Itself on Fire'Wang He, a U.S.-based China expert and observer of current affairs, said in an interview with The Epoch Times on Sept. 3 that the CCP's anti-Japanese propaganda was stupid from the beginning.
“This is setting fire to itself. Japan’s nuclear wastewater treatment technology is world-leading, and the current test results are even below the detection limit, which means that radioactivity cannot be detected at all,” Mr. Wang said.
“In contrast, China is a country with the most nuclear power plant construction in the world. Will the nuclear wastewater treatment of China’s nuclear power plants be better than that of Japan? How harmful is China’s wastewater when it is discharged into the sea? No one in China ever discussed this issue in the past.”
Mr. Wang said that in June 2021, a radiation gas leakage accident occurred in Guangdong Province at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, a joint venture between China and France. The CCP denied the accident from the beginning, but Électricité de France later confirmed the leak.
High-Level MeetingsChinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently had a phone call with South Korean counterpart Park Jin, saying that he supports Seoul’s proposal to resume the China-Japan-South Korea foreign ministers' meeting, which had been suspended for three years.
Mr. Wang said the CCP is making a U-turn in its attitude towards Japan when endorsing the high-level meeting.
Tokyo Subsidizes Seafood IndustryAfter the Chinese regime ordered a total ban on the import of Japanese seafood, the Japanese government announced plans to allocate another 20 billion yen (about $135 million) to support the aquaculture industry and help Japanese fishermen break their dependence on the Chinese market.
Although China is the largest exporter of Japanese aquatic products, the CCP’s ban will have little impact on Japan’s economy.
Yoichi Takahashi, a former Finance Ministry official, said in an article on Sept. 2 that the seafood export ban is a blow to individual seafood exporters in Japan, but this amount accounts for less than 0.2 percent of Japan’s total exports of about 100 trillion yen (about $684 billion).
"From the perspective of Japan's economy, the impact is slight,” he wrote.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told the media that Japan will take necessary actions against the ban through various channels, including the WTO framework.
Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Security, Hayao Takashi, also said that filing a complaint with the WTO could be an option if protests to the CCP through diplomatic channels are ineffective.