Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Irony Lost on Japanese Media as Online Chinese Takes a Dig at Authorities

One of the consequences of life under the claustrophobia of authoritarianism is a penchant for conspiracies, real and imagined, as I wrote here (footnote *), as well as an overreliance on the rumor mill. A more positive, defiant approach is the use of rhetorical devices to convey the truth right under the searching eyes of unimaginative officialdom. What you see is not always what you get. Note how the Yomiuri reporter and his editors have completely missed the irony that the comment in the following excerpt employs in a devastating criticism of the Chinese authorities for its failure to maintain food safety at home.

Chinese Dumplings “Conspiracy”, “Terrorism”; Trading Barbs on Japanese, Chinese Websites

While there is a paucity of official reporting in China concerning poisoning by Chinese frozen dumplings, comments are beginning to appear that openly display anti-Japanese sentiments on some websites.

On message boards at popular websites, there were some who expounded “conspiracy theories” regarding dumpling poisoning or revealed their antipathy [towards Japan with comments] such as: “Don’t the Japanese have weak resistance? [We] Chinese acquired antibodies a long time ago, and can’t be taken down by ordinary poisons.”

- from Yomiuri, 2008 February 5 (my translation)


MTC said...


I would love to see the original Chinese text.

Martin J Frid said...

The official Chinese texts are all very reasonable, along the same lines as the all very reasonable Japanese government proclamations. Such as:

China, Japan agree to continue cooperation on food poisoning case
Updated: 2008-02-06 17:30

The problem is, this particular food safety scandal is getting increasingly complex.

What Yomiuri is quoting would be the online bulletine boards, by "netizens" (citizens of the net?) who take every opportunity to make their voice heard. Every country has them, you know the rant. Maybe the UFOs did it.

Jun Okumura said...

mtc, maybe RD's contact can dig it out for you, IYKWIS.

More proof that the two governments are working hand in glove on this. Thanks for the link, martin. If I had had to place a bet, it's a disgruntled (ex?-)employee.