This is a weird one. You've heard about the giant panda baby that died at Ueno zoo? The zoo authorities say the panda died of pneumonia.
In China, though, people are mightily angry about this.
This is a prime example of how some people will use seemingly innocuous events to further nationalist ideals.
One might ask how a baby panda death could be used to stoke nationalist flames and anti-Japanese sentiment in China?
Here it is.
Yesterday, on the Internet in China, it has been reported that over 80% of respondents believe that the (expletive deleted) Japanese intentionally murdered the baby panda and this has to do with the Tokyo government intending to buy a chain of islands whose ownership is disputed by both nations.
Seems a far stretch but here is how the rumor is going in China according to Sankei Newspapers.
China is steaming about the Tokyo government attempting to buy the disputed island chain known in Japan as Senkaku (In China, they are called Daioyu)...
Whenever a baby panda is born in a Japanese zoo, the government's of both Japan and China have agreed that the Japanese can pick names but those names must have final approval of Chinese authorities.
According to rumor, Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara, (the man instigating the islands buy) has suggested the name of "Sen Sen" for the panda. According to this rumor, this name comes from, you guessed it, the first kanji in Senkaku Islands (尖閣諸島). This would be "尖尖." (Sen Sen).
Even though the name wasn't submitted to the Chinese and Ishihara has zero right to even decide a name, this story was leaked...Once the name was leaked, it became a political problem so, instead of dealing with that, the Japanese intentionally murdered the baby panda because of it.
Like I said, this story is a bit of a stretch.
Now, this story is spreading in China and stoking fierce anti-Japanese sentiment.
In a nation that blocks much of the countries outside Internet access and a survey like this takes off like wildfire with over 80% of respondents agreeing that the Japanese intentionally murdered a baby animal because of a name rejection, one must again ask "Cui Bono?".... Who benefits?
Here is the original article in Japanese as I have a suspicion that this story will disappear soon: