China Controls News Reports about Japan
Monday, October 4, 2004 Posted: 11:46 AM JST
China wants better relations with Japan. To get there it is tightening controls on reporting about Japan by the Chinese media, the Yomiuri reports today. The government is attempting to silence both anti-Japan views and those seeking to improve ties.
Public sentiment in Japan and China towards the other country has been going downhill recently. During a soccer game between the two countries this Summer Chinese attacked Japanese fans and rioted on the streets. Japanese critics have been complaining that China's government encourages such behavior and that Chinese education is to blame. Chinese observers shoot back that Japan is insensitive about Chinese memories of Japanese atrocities during World War II. It is especially enraged that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi continues to visit Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine. The shrine doesn't only enshrine Japan's war dead, but also class A war criminals.
Zhao Qizhen, head of China's State Council Information Office, recently confided to Japanese reporters that China was guiding the mass media on reporting about Japan: "There will be no anti-Japan reporting by major news organizations." Chinese authorities were also looking into regulating bulletin boards on the internet he added. Lots of anti-Japanese messages have been posted on these, increasing anti-Japan sentiment among Chinese. Chinese authorities do not usually admit that they control news reporting. It clearly shows Beijing badly wants to improve relations with Japan, which it considers an important trading partner.
Keywords: national_news political_news
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