The Diao Yu island dispute between China and Japan

Recently, there is a high tension between the government of China and Japan toward the Island Dispute issue.  This chain of uninhabited islands, Called Diao Yu island in China and Senkaku island in Japan, has generated a long-standing conflict.

Meanwhile,  the Obama government showed its stand by including the DiaoYu island(or Senkaku island) into the mutual protection treaty of Japan and US which obliges the United States to come to Japan’s aid if attacked. However, the US government also manifests its neutral attitude toward the issue, that it won’t support any side of the dispute.

This incident  fostered a strong reaction in China. Several Anti-Japan demonstrations took place in major cities of China in the past few months, and  grew into a  riot scale.

The anti-Japan demonstration has a long history in China.  In 2005 the  prime minister Mr Koizumi to a shrine, which honors Japanese war criminals, triggered massive protests in China. Tensions flared again in 2010 when Japanese police arrested the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels near the islands .   The situation is worse now , as the Japanese government try to buy the island from a private owner.  These actions are also supported by the mainstream media and government with several reports are written in an aggressive tongue.

The mainstream Chinese media coverage is about the tough action of Chinese military to send vessels to the spot declaring sovereignty , and the violent protests. Reports even become critical toward some extreme violent actions by the protestors. For instance, one man in his Japanese brand car was hit and destroyed by the angry demonstrators and he himself also suffered severe damage.   A branding expert commented on the incident that  these anti-Japanese protests leveled up due to the social media services in China, anti-Japanese activists have the ability to rally large numbers of Chinese consumers to ban the Japanese products. However, an interesting point can also be portrayed that by using the social media , the police also tracks down a man who did some extremely radical behaviours during the protest.

And also due to the media censorship in China, it is difficult to hear the voice of the other side of the story. There is few way for Chinese people to reach the information from outside through western media or Japanese media partly because of the language barrier . In the meantime, the mainstream media always reports in a conservative way that the editing sector should be very careful to some sensitive issues. Through the social media enhances the information flow, the major amount of news on the WeiBo are  lack of authenticity and credibility to leave the voice remain to be a  “white noise”.


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