Une forêt, deux tigres

Lorsque le gouvernement japonais a décidé récemment d’ignorer les protestations chinoises et d’autoriser l’ancien président de Taïwan, Lee Teng-hui, à se rendre au Japon, la Chine s’est répandue en invectives contre son voisin, menaçant même de représailles. Ce différend est caractéristique de l’extraordinaire vague anti-japonaise qui déferle en Chine depuis 2003.

En août, à Qiqihar, des ouvriers ont brisé par erreur des bonbonnes de gaz moutarde datant de l’occupation japonaise. L’accident a fait des dizaines de blessés et au moins une victime. Le public chinois a réagi avec fureur à des photos sanglantes. Sur Internet, une pétition exigeant que le gouvernement japonais résolve complètement le problème des armes chimiques a rapidement recueilli un million de signatures, tandis que des forums de discussion étaient envahis par des insultes anti-japonaises.

Deux semaines plus tard, 400 hommes d’affaires japonais ont fait appel à 500 prostituées chinoises pour un week-end dans un hôtel de Zhu Hai. Les commentaires hauts en couleur de la presse chinoise ont déclenché un autre éclat de furie vertueuse, jouant sur l’image – longtemps étouffée sous Mao - de la Chine femme violée. Le jour du 72e anniversaire de l’incident de Mukden en 1931, à l’origine de l’occupation de la Mandchourie par les Japonais, 90 % des Chinois répondant à un sondage sur Internet pensaient que les hommes d’affaires japonais avaient eu l’intention d’humilier la Chine.

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