The man who ripped off the Japanese flag from a car carrying the Japanese ambassador to China, Uichiro Niwa, has been condemned both in Japan and China.
Former editor in chief of Kyodo News Agency, Nobuo Ogata, writes, in a post on Twitter:
[The attack] is more than a matter of attitude towards Japan. Although this was done by a very tiny fraction of people, it still goes to show that there are still people in China who do not recognize or obey international conventions such as diplomatic privilege. It’s rare in the world to see such rude people like this, and Chinese government is to blame for allowing people to behave like this.
Perhaps the most shocked in the aftermath of the attack of Ambassador Niwa’s car is the Chinese Foreign Ministry, since the government has to take international responsibility if a foreign ambassador is attacked. Maybe the message that China has been blindly communicating to its people is to blame. They’re teaching kids that it’s alright to “love the country and hate Japan” and that there’s nothing wrong to be “anti-Japan.”
Some of that sentiment was echoed by editorials on Chinese media.
Even Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the nationalist Global Times, had to say:
I condemn this uncivilized behavior and we should condemn whoever ripped the flag. If he is a Chinese, I want to tell him that it is not patriotic but will only embarrass China.
“Individual actions matter greatly in whether China can gain an upper hand in public opinion in its conflict with Japan,” added the paper in its editorial, “Chinese people should remain calm and civilized when expressing their patriotism. Any actions and protests must remain within the law. ”
China Youth Daily chimed in:
In today’s world order, patriotism is no excuse for violence, let alone for doing whatever one wants. Patriotism should not harm fellow countrymen’s property, nor foreign ambassadors. The more patriotic one is, more sensible he should be and more thinking and courage are required.
The state television CCTV also condemned the behavior in its editorial by saying:
Patriotism is not vandalizing, nor a moral disguise for hooliganism. Justice comes from truth and sensibility comes from reasoning.
Meanwhile, the People’s Daily urged Japan to recognize the anger of the Chinese public while holding out hope that Chinese people would express their patriotism “sensibly”:
It’s undeniable that Japan must appreciate expressions from Chinese public and stop being provocative and harming emotions of Chinese government and people.