The Nanfang / Blog

CCTV’s Praise Of Japanese Creativity Ignites Firestorm

Posted: 08/5/2014 9:17 am

japanese schoolchildren ingenuityAn innocuous Weibo post by CCTV on textbook doodles has evoked contentious discussion about self-identity. The highlight of the post had to do with China’s neighbor and avowed enemy: CCTV praised the ingenuity of Japanese schoolchildren.

The post itself is actually quite light-hearted):japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

Worthy of being called the “Kingdom of Anime”
Japanese students draw doodles into their school textbooks that are very imaginative. Some of them are even in 3D! Now, we finally understand why so many illustrators come from Japan… Hey there, fella: do you like to draw in your school textbooks?

The netizen response seemed to indicate surprise that CCTV wasn’t dealing with Japan in the singular way to which it is known, namely in a critical way. The phrase “Japanese…. are very imaginative” from this short post was enough for netizens to launch several tirades.

japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

Here are some comments:

There is nothing in China that can possibly compare with this. Those fenqing (angry youth) shouldn’t make a fuss, but better yet get to know themselves. Even though some fenqing will curse at inferior Japan on sight, they will secretly read Japanese manga in private.

It turns out that English exams for Japanese are the same for them as they are for us.

In China, this kind of thing wouldn’t be allowed to happen by the teacher. Books that are finished with must be kept in good condition like new. No marks or writing was allowed in the book. The difference in thinking (between the two cultures) is so great…

japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

This is the rhythm (sung) by the traitorous dogs of CCTV!

So has CCTV finally figured out that (Japanese) people have a good side to them?

CCTV is now beginning to disseminate Japanese culture!!! How is this good for our country?

japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

Huh? You’ve been scolded so many times that now you’ve changed your tune to praise Japan?

Chinese education is too poor [thumbsdown.emo]

(Famous Tang dynasty poet) Du Fu laughs, but has no words for you!

japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

What chinese will draw are spoofs! What Japanese will draw is innovative!

What Japanese are more prone to drawing are things forbidden under eighteen years of age, while Chinese will draw Du Fu…

The Celestial Kingdom (China) is also capable of drawing these things! I have drawn such things in elementary school and was lauded by my schoolmates until I was discovered by my teacher… whereupon I was swiftly moved to the corner…

japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

Although the Japs are despicable, you still have to admire them. Thinking back to my fellow countrymen once enrolling into school, our imagination has slowly been eaten away by rigid textbook knowledge…

There are so many drawings like this in China, whereas drawings like this are rare in inferior Japan.

I just want to know how Japan has become the “Kingdom of Porn”.

It appears these classroom doodles have indeed gotten certain Japanese schoolchildren into trouble; however, not with the classroom teacher, but with another authoritarian from farther away…

japanese schoolchildren ingenuity

Photos: CCTV News


Japanese Executive Besieged in Dongguan over Pro-Japan Remarks

Posted: 07/1/2014 6:51 pm

The Japanese president of the Dongguan-based Chang’an automobile factory is trapped in a conference meeting room as more than 1,000 Chinese workers gathered outside to demand an apology over his remarks brushing off the Japanese invasion of China during World War II.

The Japanese executive was on a visit to the factory this morning (July 1) and told several executives in a meeting that Japan did not invade China during the war, but emancipated China from American colonialism, Guangming reported on July 1.

The remarks immediately drew a reaction from a Chinese executive named Zhang Hongquan, and quickly stirred up anger among other executives. By 11:30 am, about 1,000 employees gathered to tell the Japanese boss exactly how they felt about this remarks.

Apparently, the executive has offered to apologise.

Photos: Guangming 


FamilyMart Is Coming To Dongguan

Posted: 06/10/2014 12:50 pm

Dongguan will be the location of several new FamilyMart stores set to open later this year as Japanese brands continue to entrench themselves in the Chinese retail industry.

The move is part of an initiative to open 200 new stores, which will also see new openings in Beijing and WuxiShanghai Daily reports.

FamilyMart  previously opened eight Shenzhen FamilyMart stores back in May, and already has branches operating in Guangzhou.

Despite a competitive Chinese retail sector, FamilyMart has been less affected by the online shopping boom than supermarket chain operators due to different consumer behavior and shopping patterns, said Wei Yinheng, chairman of Ting Hsin International Group.

READ: Top Ten Things to Buy Now That FamilyMart Has Opened in Shenzhen

Meanwhile, other Japanese retailers continue to boldly expand in China despite closures by major Japanese department stores like Isetan Shenyang and amid ongoing China-Japan disputes.

Uniqlo opened its largest retail store in Shanghai last September, and plans to open hundreds more in China to complement the 290 stores it has now. Uniqlo doubled its brand share from 2012 to 2013.

Already very popular with Chinese consumers, Sony confirmed that it will be selling the Playstation 4 in China.

Chinese tourists also traveled to Japan in droves last year, setting a record of 928,500 visitors in October 2013.  Gotemba Premium Outlets reported a 130% rise in Chinese shoppers from the year before, while Mitsui Fudosan outlet malls experienced a 70% increase in Chinese shoppers from April to October.

Perhaps in trying to establish a unique retail experience that can’t be satisfied online, FamilyMart outlined a new strategy for all of its Chinese branches. The Japanese chain is planning on increasing the floor space of all of its retail outlets in order to accommodate in-store eating and drinking as a way to attract more customers.

That does make sense: if you’re not able to travel all the way to Japan for a unique retail shopping experience, why not have that experience imported over to China, one square meter at a time?

Photo: dianping


Japanese politician arrested in Guangzhou on drugs charges

Posted: 11/15/2013 10:21 pm

A 70-year-old local Japanese councillor has been arrested at Guangzhou’s Baiyun Airport on drugs charges, Channel News Asia reports.

Takuma Sakuragi was carrying three kilos of what are suspected to be illegal stimulants, Japanese officials said, citing Chinese authorities.

The website has more:

On Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed that Sakuragi was detained on October 31 at Baiyun airport “for carrying drugs with him”.

“He is now being detained in the detention centre of Guangdong province,” Hong added.

Officials in the central Japanese city of Inazawa said Sakuragi is city councillor who was in China for his private trading business.

A council spokesman said Sakuragi has denied the charges.

The case comes after four Japanese nationals were executed in China in 2010 for carrying illegal drugs.

Possession of 50 or more grammes of so-called stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine can draw the death penalty in China, which is known for its harsh drug laws.

The suspect’s associate Kenji Sasaki told Japanese media that there may be a political angle to this as Sakuragi is known to have a hardline stance on diplomatic relations with China and South Korea.

This week, former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi gave the current prime minister Shinzo Abe a thumbs-up on his approach to diplomacy with China.

Wall Street Journal has the story:

“Since I stepped down, not a single prime minister has visited the Yasukuni Shrine,” Mr. Koizumi said, in reference to the shrine where Japan’s war dead—-including convicted Japanese war criminals—-are worshipped. “Has that improved China-Japan relations? Has that allowed for summit meetings?”

During his 2001-2006 premiership, Mr. Koizumi visited Yasukuni every year, angering China and South Korea who see such pilgrimages as a grave offense to the suffering of their people under Japan’s wartime colonial rule. But that didn’t stop Japan and China from holding periodic summit meetings.

A large delegation of senior ministers did however visit the Yasukuni shrine earlier this year, angering both China and Korea.

The suggestion that there is a political angle to this spells more bad news for diplomatic relations.


Glasses that translate a Chinese menu into English

Posted: 10/28/2013 10:53 am

A Japanese telecoms firm unveiled augmented reality (AR) glasses last month that “automatically translate foreign menus into the wearer’s own language,” according to a report by The Telegraph.

Those of us living in China who own smartphones probably already rely on apps such as Google Translate and others to help us through our day. Whether you are out shopping or in a restaurant ordering food, translation apps are often a vital part of ensuring the smooth running of your day in a foreign country.

Clearly NTT Docomo, the firm behind the glasses, has seen a spot in the market for such a wearable device that would make it easier for foreigners living in non-English speaking countries.

Google has been generating a lot of global attention with its Project Glass, the search company’s first venture into the wearable and AR tech market that is expected to be ready for consumers in the next year or two.

The likes of Samsung and Microsoft have also leaked renders of their own designs. Clearly AR glasses are going to be big business, and a lot of companies want a piece of the cake (read: your money).

In a statement, NTT Docomo said: “Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents.”

Currently the closest foreigners living in places such as China and Japan can come to a similar concept is with photo-input methods, offered by smartphone apps such Google Translate, that are capable of recognising and translating characters in an image taken with a smartphone’s camera. But in reality the experience can be hit and miss.

For now, NTT Docomo’s translating spectacles are still a way off: slated to be ready in time for the Tokoyo Olympics in 2020.

What do you think of glasses that can translate your menu into English? My worry, certainly in China with its infamously obscure names for many dishes, is that any literal translation is almost as good as useless. But I’ll agree it’s a step in the right direction and certainly a forward thinking solution to a long-time problem.

Photo credit: The Telegraph

[Updated] Boy in Shenzhen meets girl over the internet, keeps her as sex slave for a week

Posted: 03/12/2013 7:00 am

A man who had returned to Shenzhen after studying in Japan is in some serious hot water after keeping a girl as his sex slave for a week.

The man met the girl over the internet and locked her in a dog cage in his home in Longgang District until she escaped on February 28, TVS reports.

Mr. Chen’s apartment.

Miss Han, 20, ran through Vanke No. 5 Garden in Bantian Subdistrict in her underwear with chains around her hands and feet screaming for help, according to eyewitness accounts. Police are now searching for a resident named Mr. Chen. He is being investigated for rape and illegally holding a person against their will.

In Chen’s home on the first floor of building D, police found a metal cage that Miss Han is thought to have been kept in. There was blood on the carpet when police searched the apartment.

It’s not like she didn’t scream for help while she was being held, either. Neighbours said Chen’s window had been left open for most of the past few days and they frequently heard a woman screaming, but they figured it was just a typical domestic dispute (which are totally fine, obviously).

Chen’s window which was open for much of the time.

Predicatably, Sina Weibo users are debating whether Chen was influenced by Japanese porn. But there are perverts everywhere, and it’s never a good idea for a women to go to a man’s home just after meeting on the internet.

***Update Shortly after 11 p.m. on March 11, Chen was arrested in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province. He is thought to be in his 40s and is a native of Shenyang in Liaoning Province.

Also, it turns out Miss Han, from Hunan Province, is just 17.


Feeling Club in Shenzhen invites one and all for a drink… except the Japanese

Posted: 02/20/2013 6:28 pm

Feeling Club in central Futian, in the heart of the club scene next door to famed Viva, has put up an ad for their international night on Tuesdays. Free beer before 10:30, buy one get one free after that. Seems a good deal. So what could possibly be wrong?


The advertisement for Feeling Club’s Tuesday drink special

Current politics aside (and of course never forgetting “The War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression”), is this really a successful way to attract foreigners to your bar? Perhaps, purely for the sake of marketing, it might be a better idea to keep one’s political feelings to oneself and not plaster them on the side of a bar. Is this something anyone wants to see while going out for an apolitical drink?


Diaoyu dispute forces Chinese airlines to cut service to Japan

Posted: 11/5/2012 11:00 am

China Southern Airlines is axing 22 Japanese flights and scaling back capacity on other routes in and out of the country during the winter months, a move largely seen as a result of reduced demand for flights to Japan amid the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute.

Airline Route is reporting services from Changchun, Dalian, Guangzhou, Harbin and Shenyang are being reduced, affecting flights to Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Niigata, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo Narita and Toyama.

Dalian is the worst hit, losing 14 flights.

The Centre for Aviation (CAPA) revealed one-way seat capacity between China and Japan has fallen to its lowest level since 2004. Capacity for October was down 9 per cent year-on-year.

Other plans to boost capacity have also been shelved, affecting the second daily Guangzhou-Osaka Kansai service.

The 174-seat Airbus A321 will continue to serve the route, replacing the 374-seat Boeing 777-200 for the time being, representing a near 110% cut in seat availability. CSA has also removed 120 seats from its daily Guangzhou-Tokyo Narita service, replacing its Airbus A330-200 with a Boeing 737-800.

Airspace reform urged
The Comprehensive Transport Institute is calling for reform of China’s airspace and expanding its use for civilian aviation.

The group is warning congestion will come to a head once Guangzhou’s new runway opens, combined with a third runway being considered in Hong Kong.

China Daily carry this self-evident line describing the situation:

The region’s sky has been so severely congested that the International Air Transport Association has said that the situation in the Pearl River Delta is one of the top three global air traffic control problems.

With more flights connecting six PRD airports (Foshan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Zhuhai) to the rest of Asia and the world, experts are questioning how much more the region can take with such little approved airspace available.

Passenger improvements for Baiyun Airport
Life of Guangzhou is reporting airport management at Baiyun Airport will invest RMB4 million into passenger improvements at Baiyun Airport.

Some ideas include a smartphone app for better on-the-move information in the hands of passengers.


[Updated] Worst of anti-Japan protests passed, SZ police now looking for looters

Posted: 09/24/2012 2:11 pm

The dust is beginning to settle following last week’s riotous protests against the Japanese for its claims on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.  Police in Guangzhou have detained 18 for committing acts of violence during last week’s protests, according to Xinhua. These included smashing Japanese-brand cars, shop windows and billboards, Guangzhou Public Security Bureau told the news agency.

Police look at an overturned car in Guangzhou

In Shenzhen, seven arrests were made of some of the more destructive protestors, according to local media. One of the protestors who was detained in the city’s Futian District said he had been overcome with patriotic fervour, he was acting out of character and he would never do it again.

Police in Shenzhen’s Futian District are seeking tips about 20 suspected vandals who damaged property during the protests, according to Shenzhen Daily.  Today’s South China Morning Post (behind a paywall) published some of their photos, which are posted below.

Meanwhile, Shanghaiist notes popular Shenzhen television personality Juanzi was trolled relentlessly after defending Japan on her Weibo.  What on Earth could she have said to face such harsh criticism?  Here it is:

A few days ago a friend went on a business trip to Japan but had trouble leaving the country. This morning he sent me a text saying that last night he and a co-worker had been eating at a Japanese bar when it was uncovered that they were Chinese, after which they got a dish that had some words written on it [Editor's note: the words on the dish say "Thank you China".]. When I heard this, I was worried. But who would have thought it would be these words. The bar owner said, “Thank you for being so willing to come to Japan, I hope there will be peace and friendship.” … I certainly was surprised. Patriotism: must we use xenophobia and hatred to express it?

Shenzhen TV personality, Juanzi said she deleted the post because she was “scared” after receiving angry responses from nationalistic Chinese.

Juanzi said she deleted the post because she was “scared” after receiving a vitriolic backlash.

Wrapping up our summary of Japan sentiment in the PRD, sources in Dongguan have told The Nanfang that they saw overwhelming evidence the protests were staged by the government.  They told us they saw buses arrive with people who said they were from Henan, some of whom were directing the crowds. This wouldn’t be earth-shattering news, as it’s suspected that the protests were at least tolerated by the government, if not outright encouraged.

Update 3:41pm

Well, that was fast.  It seems that the hooligans causing problems in Shenzhen aren’t interested in being on the lam.  The Daily Sunshine reports five of the 20 suspects being sought have already turned themselves in. It might not be long before the others turn up, either.


More anti-Japanese protests roil the PRD, water cannons used to subdue crowds

Posted: 09/17/2012 8:00 am

A protester smashes the window of a Japanese store in Shenzhen.

It was another weekend of simmering discontent in China over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute, with it boiling over at times in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.  Our neck-of-the-woods was only one front in the nation-wide outburst of anger at the Japanese, with a Panasonic and Toyota plant damaged by fire in Qingdao.

It’s estimated there were protests of varying size in 85 Chinese cities on the weekend, with arguably the largest in Shenzhen.  Reuters reports police fired water cannons, pepper spray, and tear gas to subdue rowdy protesters:

Protesters attacked a Japanese department store, grabbed police shields and knocked off their helmets. One protester was seen with blood on his face. At least one policeman was hit with a flowerpot.

Another 10,000 hit the streets in Guangzhou, overturning cars and smashing the windows of Japanese businesses.  Dongguan also had a small-scale protest, while those angry with Japan in Zhuhai also demonstrated according to the South China Morning Post (behind a paywall):

In Zhuhai, demonstrators gathered in the downtown Gongbei district at about 9am. They broke through three police roadblocks and, according to Hong Kong-based RTHK, threw rocks and water bottles at Japanese cars parked on roadsides. Police were seen distributing water to the demonstrators.

Some of the worst protests happened in other Chinese cities as well, with protesters pelting the Japanese embassy in Beijing with eggs while a Japanese man had his dog killed at the hands of an angry mobs in Shanghai, according to posts on Weibo.

It’s clear the Diaoyu/Senkaku issue has become more than simply a hot-button issue, and the protests seem to be proceeding with tacit approval by the Central Government.  Some reports on Twitter indicated that buses of protesters arrived at the Japanese embassy in Beijing, indicating the event was planned, while factory workers in Zhuhai and Dongguan said they were given the day off in order to participate.

With the political instability in China at the moment, don’t expect this issue to go away anytime soon.  Let’s hope our Japanese friends and colleagues stay safe in the meantime.

Protest in Shenzhen on Sunday September 16

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