Children are heard reciting that the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands belong to Japan
A video of a Japanese kindergarten recital has sparked controversy in China.
According to What’s On Weibo, a video of children from a far-right Japanese kindergarten has caused a stir on Chinese social media. The news site reports that the children are heard reciting that the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands belong to Japan.
In the controversial video, children are shown reciting an oath before a sport’s competition, saying that Japan cannot be outdone by other countries. According to the news site, the video was filmed at the Moritomo school in Osaka that runs the Tsukamoto Kindergarten.
“We hope that the Chinese and South Korean and others who view Japan as an evil country can change their stance instead of teaching lies in history books,” the children say.
The children reportedly go on to say that China should not “spread lies” about Japan in its history books.
What’s On Weibo state that netizens on Weibo were quick to comment on the video, with polarising opinions. “These students don’t have a correct understanding of the problems in history, which is a worrying thing. Since Abe has risen to power there has been a concerning trend towards right-wing politics (..). Saying that the Diaoyu islands are theirs is just an act of stealing, and I strongly denounce it,” one person commented.
“I am not saying Japan is an evil country,” another person writes. “Every country has its own problems. But if children are in kindergartens like these, it will actually turn into an evil country.”
Some commenters reflected on China’s own schools, mentioning the “abnormal practices” occurring there. “China has kindergartens where they show bloody films about the Anti-Japanese War,” one commenter says.
Others described anti-Japanese war dramas as a form of “brainwashing”. “Isn’t China exactly the same?”, one person pondered. However, not everyone agreed, “Those war films only show how the Japanese invaded China and murdered Chinese, can you deny this?”, said one netizen.
However, the majority of comments reportedly agreed that the children aren’t to be blamed for the incident. “These kids don’t even know what they are saying, they are only being used by the adults who are behind this,” said one user. “Poor children,” some said, “How sad they have to live in a shameless country like that.”
Last month the same kindergarten was accused of distributing racial slurs against Chinese and Koreans in Japan. Principal of the kindergarten, Yasunori Kagoike and his wife, the deputy principal were questioned by a prefectural official with regards to the matter. The principal admitted to distributing the derogatory letter but declined to give a reason for doing so, citing a pending lawsuit.
In February 2016, a parent received a letter from the deputy principal saying, “I don’t discriminate. But in my mind, I hate Koreans and Chinese.”
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has been linked to the school after his wife visited the school. Abe said the ideology of Mr Kagoike was similar to his. However, according to the Washington Post, the prime minister and his wife have now distanced themselves from the school.