The violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in China appear to be over, and intestinal complications aside, it seems to be safe again to eat sushi in Beijing or Shanghai. State-owned media however is trying its utmost to keep the matter on the front burner, so to speak, in a very insidious way.
A few days ago, China’s state-owned media wrote that “Toyota has denied media reports that it will withdraw from the Chinese market and shut down production facilities in the country.” Nobody had seen those media reports in the first place, but the denial made headlines the world over.
Writes an outraged Hans Greimel, Tokyo Correspondent of the Automotive News:
“Something is disingenuous about inventing a news angle that had not existed and giving it life through a denial. It’s akin to asking Toyota if it plans to pull out of North America or is working on a car that can fly to Mars.
Just as China was magically engulfed in “spontaneous” anti-Japanese protests that were turned off like a faucet by the Chinese government, you might suspect similar machinations behind local press coverage of the Japanese automakers there.”
As easily as made-up stories stay alive, fact-based accounts of the destruction brought by the riots vanish. Chinese auto portal auto.163.com carried the story of a Toyota car dealer in Qingdao who watched 193 cars and his dealership go up in flames after two safes were stolen. A few days later, the story was gone.
“Perhaps it cut to the bone too much and it was censored or simply removed,” writes Chinacartimes. Ash Sutcliffe of Chinacartimes resurrected and translated the story. Read here in full length how the anti-Japanese riots ruined the life of a Chinese businessman and 28 customers who had their car in for service.