By on September 15, 2012

Anti-Japanese demonstrations grew ugly in China over the weekend, and it were cars that took the brunt. Chinese took to the streets after Tokyo said it would nationalize the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. The uninhabited rocks are administered by Japan but claimed by China.  Tens of thousands protested this weekend – and vented their rage on cars.

One  of the first victims was a Honda CR-V, oddly owned by the police in the southern city of Shenzhen. Shenzhen’s finest were unable to protect their property.

As it becomes increasingly dangerous to own a Japanese car in China, people devise unorthodox ways to protect their cherished car.

In Chengdu, says the China-blog Ministry of Tofu, “a car owner taped a Chinese national flag onto the Toyota marque and blanketed the rear of the car with stickers that say “Boycott Japanese Products”, “Paralyze Japanese Economy” , “I Bought the Car First, Before Japan Got Bitchy. From Now On, Boycott Japanese Goods”. The picture of the car immediately went viral on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging platform.”

Having the largest market share of Japanese cars in China, Nissan is most exposed. The owner  of this Nissan Teana sends out these statements.

In the left corner: “The Car Is A Japanese Car – The Heart Is A Chinese Heart”

In the right corner: “Diaoyu Islands Belong to China Only –  Sora Aoi belongs to the world.”

While we understand nationalistic fervor over islands, the last statement goes too far. Sora Aoi is a Japanese porn star, and she belongs to Japan.  Watch, but don’t touch.

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50 Comments on “As Tensions Flare Over Islands, Chinese Worry About Their Japanese Cars – And Japanese Porn Stars...”


  • avatar

    Because: nothing says nationalism like smashing another country’s car!

  • avatar

    车是日本车 – this car is a japanese car
    心中国心 – this is the heart of china!

    It’s really a funny feeling when you can read Chinese. Attending Fu Dan University is still paying off. When i worked at BBY during my college years, they had to send all the Chinese business to me because the Chinese guy working in my department was American born and didn’t speak it.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    I think we should rearm Japan and turn them loose on China. Worked the first time.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Have you seen anything of Japanese military-age males lately?
      First, you need to determine that they’re male.
      Second, you’d have to get them to stop flashing peace signs at anything that moves.
      No, there will be no 大日本帝国陸軍 redux.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Darkhorse – I don’t think you want to go there. With the weapons of today, there will be 10 times the carnage and destruction.

      • 0 avatar

        Japan wouldn’t last 5 minutes against China.

        On top of nuclear bombardment, the Chinese marines would come in so violently they’d make The Rape of Nanking look like a petting zoo.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        @Bigtruckseriesreview

        Foreign Policy Magazine did a scenario if Japan and China got into a military conflict over the islands recently; called it the Sino-Japanese War of 2012.

        http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/20/the_sino_japanese_naval_war_of_2012

        The conclusion is that Chinese PLA forces would not be able to win Japanese naval forces that are armed with the latest battle-tested American weapons and are trained with Americans. “Beijing could see its momentum toward world-power status reversed in an afternoon”. Japan, using American weaponry, have both air and naval superiority in that region.

        This is even assuming that America doesn’t step in. Which the US is obliged to do if China tries to use force to take those island under Article 5. Keep in mind, that those islands used to be used for American military target practice while it was American territory up to the 70s. If America recognizes Chinese claims to those islands, it would mean that America was bombing Chinese territory upto the 70s.

        China won’t be stupid enough to start a military conflict over those islands, especially with an American threat. If they were going to use force they would forcefully take the islands in the South China Seas where there is much much more oil and natural gas at stake and where the US isn’t guaranteed to step in.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @L’avventura

        I read that very article with great enthusiasm, excellent summation.

      • 0 avatar

        @L’avventura

        I never believe anything I see in these simulations because real world situations are far more dynamic.

        “If the US were to step in…”

        That’s hilarious. Do you see what America’s military looks like nowadays? We are virtually at war with 10 countries right now if you consider the destruction/murder of ambassadors/embassies an act of war.

        “Only a fool fights a war on 2 fronts. Only the heir to the throne in the kingdom of fools fights a war on 12 fronts”.

      • 0 avatar
        L'avventura

        @bigtruckseriesreview

        You greatly over-estimate the power of the Chinese military. 20 years from now they may be a forced to be reckoned with, but right now, they can’t go up against any country that is equipped with American weaponry.

        Especially being that Japan doesn’t need to defeat the Chinese military to win a naval conflict.

        You talk about the US being stretched thin. China right now is fighting a half dozen countries over territorial disputes in the South China Seas, they are fighting over territory with Inida, not to mention long standing disputes with Tibet & Taiwan, now we issues with Japan in the East China Seas (China only started these claims in the late-60s only after possible natural gas was discovered). Any conflict that China has with one area leaves the door open in others.

        Regardless of what you think of the US military. If you’ve seen the recent moves of the US State Department you would know that the US is re-focusing their efforts in Asia. They are striking deals with ASEAN nations, they are doubling down in East Asia.

        America is making very deliberate moves to minimize the spread of Chinese influence in Asia, and to project the sphere of US influence. The US State Department has already stated that the disputed islands fall under Article 5. Which is a public statement that any military aggression towards the islands would be met with a military response.

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/us-obliged-to-defend-contested-senkaku-islands/story-e6frg6so-1226422910686

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        China, while having a very large Army has a very small expiditionary capability. The competence of there Navy is also dubious. Both would be required to win this sort of shooting war.

        As to American involvement, While the U.S. Ground forces are fairly tied down, the Navy would be able to contribute significantly to this fight. The U.S. has as many Aircraft Carriers based in Japan as the Chinese have in their fleet (1), and the one they have is a half finished Soviet one meaning no catapults…It really is a vastly inferior design to our stuff. Even if we didn’t contribute most agree the Japanese Navy’s competence outstrips that of the Chinese by a long shot and if you decide to pick a fight over an island with an island nation, you are going to need a Navy.

        And an invasion of the Japanese mainland is no joke anyway (We waanted no part of it in WWII). There is enough militarisim left in the culture that I doubt those peace sign throwing youth will be sitting on the beach welcoming the Chinese invaders. Remember, these 2 countries really don’t like each other.

        While one would be crazy to invade mainland China, China would be equally crazy to launch this sort of war, it is not there strength and they would likely be defeated.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Yeah when we tried that with the Germans it didn’t work out as well as we expected.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Um, Japan was rearmed like 55 years ago.

      They actually have a fairly large military (their standing ground forces are around 150,000 officers and enlisted), they just don’t call it a military. The Japan Self Defense Forces are officially a civilian agency, meaning they are subject to civilian courts and are not treated as military personnel by foreign governments, but it’s essentially a rose by any other name. Check out their Hyuga Class “helicopter destroyers”, pretty impressive ships.

    • 0 avatar
      rgil627il

      DIAFF please

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Bertel, porn stars do belong to the world. Especially with the internet’s wide penetration.

  • avatar

    There are times when my comedic skills fail me but somewhere in this story there’s some very black humor with a punchline that contains the name “Vincent Chin”.

    He was a Chinese guy a few decades ago who got in a bar fight with a couple of Detroit area auto workers angry about Japanese imports. Chin was beaten to death. Mostly it was just some drunk guys fighting but the racial and autoworker angles made it a cause celebre. Chrysler fired one of the killers – though at the time they had about 2 dozen other murderers on the payroll. A friend of mine sued Chrysler on behalf of the discharged killer. I asked him how he could do it and he said that he was asked to do so by Chin’s mother’s advocates. The only way she could recover anything from the guy in a civil suit was if he got his job back.

    Somehow I’m quite sure that these “nationalist” Chinese will get different treatment in the media than the racist and jingoistic Americans who kill Asians over imported cars (and are so racist they don’t know the difference between Japanese and Chinese), beat on foreign cars and won’t let foreign cars park in their UAW parking lots.

    It’s always a shock to bien pensant Americans when they discover intra-Asian prejudices.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Funny how many Americans regard the US-Germany conflict in WWII with a nationalistic/racial eye, even though German-American is (and was then) one of the most common bloodlines in the US, but then are able to reconcile viewing “Asia” as one huge country with no different nationalities.

      This could devolve into the old Japanese descendants in concentration camps vs. German nationals (i.e. Nazi scientists) being hired by the US Government argument, but I’d rather it not.

      Life is full of far more ironic things than Alanis Morisette ever imagined.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Actually there was a massive manhunt by the US Military to find Wernher Von Braun and his associates before the Russians did. “Operation Paperclip” sanitized the Nazi Rocket Scientists and then we hired them.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Chinese hate of Japan runs deep. There are people who would kill you for mistaking them for Japanese.

      But this is mostly with the older generation. This current fervor is part of a concerted propaganda drive by the Chinese government to drum up patriotic sentiment amongst the peopke.

      It was more than a little amusing when our Chinese student started panicking because news from China was that the Philippine Navy was attacking Chinese ships, and that mobs of demonstrators in the Philippines were a danger to Chinese citizens.

      Yeah, the Philippine Navy of one light patrol frigate, and the mobs standing outside Chinese shops buying up cheap knockoff electronics.

      Even funnier that a huge segment of the middle and upper class in the Philippines are of Chinese descent.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    The part about Japan getting “bitchy…” Is that a rough translation or literal?

    If it’s direct, it’s too funny! A serious situation, but a bit of comedy amongst the nastiness.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    …. and suddenly web traffic at TTAC dropped dramatically as everyone left to google “Sora Aoi Bukkake Party”…

  • avatar
    George B

    Bertel, are the car buying preferences of people in China significantly different than that of ethnically Chinese people in the United States? Here in North Texas the parking lots will be full of lots of Toyotas any place where large numbers of Chinese families gather. Used to be that Lexus was the brand of choice for well-off Chinese Americans, but the German Luxury brands appear to be making inroads.

    I have been attending a church service with a largely Asian congregation. Mixture of people from China, Vietnam, South Korea, The Philippines, plus some South Asians from India. Several white man Asian woman couples and mixed nationality Asian couples. They all seem to genuinely get along. Haven’t seen any Japanese people around here in several years so I don’t know if Japanese people would mix with the group.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Yes, there is a difference. The wealth gap is much larger in China. So there are more wealthy people that buy MB/BMW that’s typically 4x the price of a Camry, and even more poor people that buy VW’s Chinese Jetta/Santana that’s 1/4 the price of a Camry.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Nippon aka land of the rising sun, perhaps they may got what tehy had bargained for, should middle kingdom start boycotting any thing from the island /japan, then owning the small isl is not really worth keeping.
    is not much different than winning the Pyrrhic battle.

    many yrs ago there were some trade squabble between hong kong & france

    , switzerland etc. in the end it didnt justify the mean. they lost out the swiss watch & all the vino trades.

    in this case japan need to flog off more goods to middle kingdom than mk selling to them.

    also this little isl is more of a future earnings, only God knows when the real oel can be pumped out?
    5-10-20yrs to see the fruits ripe.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    If only we in the United States were as patriotic (or insightful enough) to boycott the products of countries which are against our best interests.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Claiming ownership of an unsettled island is vital to the best interests of the average Chinese? The UAW is far more of a threat to the best interests of Americans, so patriotic and insightful ones won’t touch their products.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Claiming ownership of these islands is a national security issues for the Chinese:

        1. Mineral rights around the islands in order to sink drilling platforms (among other things). The head of a Chinese drilling company recently said something to the effect of their drilling platforms can be used as diplomatic weapons.
        2. The ability to install early earning radar, listening stations to spy on American communications from Okinawa and/or install covert anti-ship missile batteries.
        3. De-facto control of the sea lanes south of Okinawa.

        “The UAW is far more of a threat to the best interests of Americans, so patriotic and insightful ones won’t touch their products.”

        I slightly disagree, while UAW leadership is a cesspool of mafia and Marxist hacks, I don’t think they are a significant national security concern… public unions on the other hand certainly are, but with regard to automobiles that’s not what I was referring too.

        Americans should let it be known they will boycott products from nations which threaten them. Many so called ‘Japanese’ cars may be built in North America, but the profits flow overseas. Japan has been mired in their ‘lost decade’ for so long, I think much of the growth their auto industry has experienced have been profits from sales in North America (and other export markets). If this were to suddenly take a significant hit, I think it may rock the already fragile Japanese economy. Soon the Chinese will eye up North American sales, either under established brands (as Suzuki’s, Masada’s, Nissan’s, etc), or under their own. We have already seen Chinese production decimate other industries due to ridiculously low production costs, could what remains of the North American car industry be next?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “Many so called ‘Japanese’ cars may be built in North America, but the profits flow overseas.”

        That’s a myth. Take a look at the list of largest Toyota shareholders. You’ll see some US addresses. Even the Japanese entities that own shares of Toyota may have American investors as well.

        The domestic US automakers have offshore investors and so some of their profits go offshore. To be totally honest, I’m not sure anyone really knows where all of the money flows.

        That statement may have been true sometime back in the last century, but it definitely is wrong now.

        Maybe you find a list of shareholders of Toyota (with addresses) and list of shareholders of the large entities holding Toyota stock and maybe we could figure it out.

        Edit: a quick cursory check of Toyota stock shows 200,669 probable American owned shares out of a total of 668,186 shares. So, Toyota may (and I emphasize may) be 30% American owned. The actual number could be higher or lower.

      • 0 avatar

        Guys, do a little history reading. To begin with while there were exceptions, the US labor movement is capitalist. Specifically the UAW under Walter Reuther fought fiercely against communist and hard left infiltration of their union. Ron King grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, not a red diaper on his tuchas. King’s dad was a Ford exec who got him a cushy job working in a parts depot. Three years later he was already working for the UAW. King wouldn’t know which of a socket wrench to use. I had some respect for Ron Gettelfinger, who actually was a line worker at one time.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        CJ, I think the UAW is bad for GM, Ford, and Chrysler, but I would consider them more the recipients of political payback than a direct threat to the best interests of Americans. At least not in the level of the threat the Japanese people face in a war with China. Here we’re just talking about which political party and aligned groups will control the levers of power and what they will do with that control.

        In US history there were several times when the US bought territory from other countries. I would think that the win-win solution would be for China to buy these islands from Japan for a good price. The worry is that the Chinese government might prefer conflict as a distraction from problems at home.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Good point George, I’m just not sure the Japanese want to give them up, perhaps they could be persuaded otherwise. In other news the new Japanese ambassador died of a mysterious illness in Toyko a few days after appointment, and anti-Japanese protests were reported in 85 cities by Kyodo news.

        bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-16/japan-s-new-ambassador-to-china-dies-of-illness-as-tensions-rise.html

        http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/09/182708.html

    • 0 avatar
      panzerfaust

      Back in the ’70′s when Americans were afriad of Japanese businessmen buying up tons of real estate among other things it was very popular to get a bunch of guys together and beat the crap out of a Japanese car with a sledge hammer and other blunt objects. Hows that all worked out for us in the long term?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “when Americans were afriad of Japanese businessmen buying up tons of real estate among other things”

        Now the Chinese are doing it and MSM usually fails to report.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @ MCS The primary profit of Toyota goes back to Japan. When they make a profit they can decide to issue/not issue a dividend. Toyota’s bond holders would be paid before stock owners. The bond holders payments are secondary. Your stock dividends are tertiary. In the end, pennies of the gross profit dollars are sent back as dividends.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    If there were no natural resources to be mined and tapped, do you think these islands would even be on anyone’s radar?

    The protesters are just puppets and they don’t know it.

    It is just like we were fooled with “weapons of mass destruction”.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    On a less serious note, I was just trying to explain what was happening in the car smashing video (with regard to the disputed islands) to my g/f, and something funny happened. She had the South Park ‘Whale Whores’ episode on in the background and she suggested they stop bickering over the islands and join forces to hunt whales (and sink the Sea Shepard). The very first thing that popped into my head was a South Park style montage with Jay Z’s ‘Big Pimpin’ as background music, I think it would sound something like this:

    Yo yo yo, big whalin’, across the seas
    We doin, big whalin’, on Beluga D.’s
    We doin, big whalin’ up in the East China Sea.
    It’s just that Jiabao, Noda, and B-U-N B

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Does anybody else see a parallel to the Islamic uprising over that ridiculous video? Sensible people don’t go to these lengths, it’s very hard to maintain this level hatred over a sustained period of time. Instead, it’s the disaffected, those that are marginalized by economic circumstance that get swept up into the mob mentality. Memory is short, just not long again, many Chinese were marveling at the way the Japanese were conducting themselves in the wake of the Tsunami… while the mainland was a in a misguided frenzy hoarding salt out of radiation fears.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      It used be said that an angry lawless mob destroying or looting private property is the second cousin to lynching.

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      The CCP knows full well how to stoke simmering anger over Japan’s refusal to offer an official apology for their heinous conduct during the Sino-Japanese war, and again during WWII and it’s build-up.

      Of course, if Japan’s politicians would do what the Germans did (i.e. own up to their evil conduct and apologize), maybe we could get some reconciliation going.

      But right now, with Japanese rightists revising history to make Japan look like the victim in WWII, that looks like a distant shore.

      You can’t have reconciliation without truth.

      Incidentally, the U.S. probably could do a lot of good by stepping in and (correctly) noting that the islands were discovered by China, were considered Chinese territory all through the 19th century (until Japan took them by military might), and are covered by the various postwar treaties which stipulated return of all conquered/stolen lands from Japan back to China.
      Which…. is not going to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Yeah, because we in the US have never siezed anyone’s land and held onto it. Maybe we could get some Native Americans to negotiate these China-Japan talks.

        And why would we come to the aid of China in an international dispute when they constantly block our agenda in the UN on Iran. Japan is a much stronger ally. This makes no sense.

        However, we do seem hell bent on pissing off every longtime ally we still have so who knows.

  • avatar
    thirty-three

    Does anyone remember the name of the Chinese-made car that was a knockoff of a Corolla? My Google-fu is failing me today.

    I mention this because people in China were buying them and paying to have them re-badged as Corollas. I wonder how they feel about their decision now?

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    The China government is allowing these protests and is stoking the fire. Now that people are storming Japanese companies in China, look for resolution soon.

    Japanese corporations will pressure their government to come to a resolution.

    It is probably better to have resolution this way than flexing military muscle. Money is stronger than guns and this was proven in the cold war.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    The artificial inflation of fears here in China over Japan is so ridiculous it’s almost comical.

    Shanghai just had an air raid warning drill for the first time in like 10 years. All because of what’s going on with these islands. The rhetoric all over Chinese news and radio is ridiculous, it’s quite obviously being pushed by the government. Getting Chinese mad just to push this agenda. It’s stupid and could quite possibly backfire as there is a rather large manufacturing base in China from Japanese companies, and if they all pull out. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

    Want to bet that might be a financial blow that they propped up by toothpicks, smoke, mirrors, and duct tape Chinese economy might not recover from?

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    What goes around come around. Japanese wouldn’t buy Korean or American cars and now Japan is being shut out of China, the world’s largest market.


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