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Chinese man arrested for distributing 'pro-Japanese' cartoons online

By Elizabeth Shim
Chinese man arrested for distributing 'pro-Japanese' cartoons online
Chinese authorities arrested a man on charges of distributing anti-state material on the internet. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

July 30 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities detained a man for disseminating "anti-Chinese, pro-Japanese cartoons" on the Internet, according to Beijing's state tabloid Global Times and news service Pengpai.

The defendant, a man identified only by his surname Lu, was arrested in Dalian, a city in northeast China, according to the report.

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Dalian police detained the man on charges of distributing cartoons or anime online that featured anti-Chinese content and attacked the Chinese nation, according to the report.

The Global Times labeled Lu, 36, a "Japanese at heart" who "supports Japan's right-wing politics" at the expense of Chinese war crime victims.

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China and Japan have outstanding historical disputes regarding Japanese wartime crimes against Chinese civilians during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The two countries are at odds over the number of civilians killed in massacres, including the infamous Nanjing Massacre in 1937, a sensitive topic in both countries.

Lu began to distribute his anti-state material in January, including 140 online posts that included cartoons, according to the Global Times.

The content "insulted and reproached the Chinese people," state media said.

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Dalian police said defendants like Lu are disseminating material among youth that would increase anti-patriotic "pro-Japanese" sentiment. Lu was urging young people to join his "movement," Dalian police said.

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Lu was arrested when he was returning from a trip overseas.

The arrest is part of a rising trend in China of targeting citizens who downplay China's historical grievances.

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In May, police in Huainan, Anhui Province, arrested a woman with the surname Zhang after she created 300 cartoons challenging China's version of history, according to reports.

Zhang had created the cartoons for Lu.

Japan and China have not resolved friction over the past, but are moving toward greater diplomatic engagement.

Kyodo News reported Tuesday the foreign ministers of the two countries are to meet at a regional forum in Bangkok on Thursday to discuss Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan in 2020.

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