Some background: if you've scanned news headlines over the past few weeks, you've probably come across mentions of a spat between China and Japan over some islands in the East China Sea. The territorial controversy isn't new, as both countries have claimed ownership of the group of uninhabited islands – which the Chinese call Diaoyu and the Japanese call Senkaku – for a while. The tension has been climbing recently, however, because the owner of the islands sold them to Japan, after which various groups of Chinese and Japanese nationals have been alternately heading to the islands and planting their country's flag, each incident provoking a more vocal response.

The Chinese man-in-the-street takes the issue so seriously that there have been regular, and large, demonstrations over the matter, and even retailers are getting into it. An Audi dealer in China posted the photo above with employees posing under a banner that reports say reads, "Even if China becomes nothing but tombstones, we must exterminate the Japanese; even if we have to destroy our own country, we must take back the Diaoyu Islands," or an alternate translation (there are a few), "We will kill every Japanese person even if it means death for our own; even poverty will not deter us from reclaiming the Diayou Islands." You get the point.

Audi, naturally, has released a statement to "categorically distance ourselves from this action" and say that it had no place in the discussion of political matters. Although Audi isn't the only car company to have been pulled into the fracas – Volkswagen and Ford dealers have made banners of their own – it looks like Audi has become the face of it because that particular banner happens to have been the most extreme that anyone's reported on so far. Japanese bloggers and even a Taiwanese humor site have wondered if Audi should do more to apologize. Meanwhile, Japanese carmakers have stopped production in China while the looting, smashing and burning of Japanese cars and stores – and a Rolex boutique – and the hanging of a lot of other eye-popping banners at other Chinese retailers continues in the People's Republic.


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  • 113 Comments
      Sean Victorine
      • 2 Years Ago
      People who are saying, "You've got to know where China is coming from because Japan killed 20 million of them in WWII" yes, it is important to understand the context of this dispute. Obviously its deeply rooted in past events as well. However, because of what has happened in the past doesn't mean that it is justified to call for the extinction of a race (on the extreme side). They can riot and protest all they want just as long as no Japanese are hurt in the process because really, what is that going to prove? The Chinese people would be lowering themselves to the very same level. Its also worth noting that the Chinese government is letting these protests happen as opposed to the human rights protests, which they usually crush. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese government even helped ignite the spark for these anti Japanese protest. China is on a slippery slope.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sean Victorine
        [blocked]
        luujerr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sean Victorine
        i agree with you but this is a single retailer thats calling for japanese extermination. I'm sure there are many more chinese nationals that feel the same way though. People in china are smashing anything that has to do with japan. On my local chinese news in ontario there is footage of people smashing a japanese goods store in china whilst the owner screams "I'm Chinese too"
      superchan7
      • 2 Years Ago
      While both sides are being immature (the Chinese street rage and Japan "buying" the islands from its "owners" are both idiotic moves to get political brownie points), this banner is ridiculous if it's real. Advocating genocide or any hatred to innocent people is a shame to China, a nation trying to modernize and improve its rule of law.
      T Nishi
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate how many people say we Japanese white-wash history! I grew up in Japan, and learned about the terrible things we did in SE Asia, China, Korea you name it. There even was a picture of the execution of a white Australian soldier ( I believe was originally in a magazine). This was a junior high history class. Don't To tell me that I and many Japanese people don't know what we have learnt is an insult to our intelligence. I am not proud of that part of our history. However, we have given billions of dollars of aid to China to develop. We have even had politicans give full apologies to China. I cannot raise the dead, nor can anyone else. I believe my country has moved to be a peaceful country.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T Nishi
        Yes, politicians have apologised, but that's meaningless if the next day other politicians say that the atrocoties never happened. The Korean and Japanese women who were brutalized are slandered again and again by prominent Japanese politicians who say that they were liars or prostitutes or that they enjoyed it. If Japanese people know the history but they tolerate this kind of talk from prominent members of their society, that makes them even worse.
          T Nishi
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mr.Roadrage
          so do you listen to every fringe politician as representing the entire nation? I have known TWO Japanese politicians that have publicly denied it. I don't like when my politicians are making statements such as these to appease nationalist groups just like many others in my country. And of course it isn't the aggressor country's choice to tell people to forget, however the aggressor country should also not be taken advantage of. The islands have nothing to do with World War II. So why is it that these topics are used as justification for the sovereignty of these islands and protests?
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T Nishi
        Yes, politicians have apologised, but that's meaningless if the next day other politicians say that the atrocoties never happened. The Korean and Japanese women who were brutalized are slandered again and again by prominent Japanese politicians who say that they were liars or prostitutes or that they enjoyed it. If Japanese people know the history but they tolerate this kind of talk from prominent members of their society, that makes them even worse. And, by the way, it is up to the victim to decide when to forget. Japan has no right to tell other countries that they must stop rememberingt what it has done to them. That's called arrogance.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T Nishi
        Yes, politicians have apologised, but that's meaningless if the next day other politicians say that the atrocoties never happened. The Korean and Japanese women who were brutalized are slandered again and again by prominent Japanese politicians who say that they were liars or prostitutes or that they enjoyed it. If Japanese people know the history but they tolerate this kind of talk from prominent members of their society, that makes them even worse. And, by the way, it is not up to the aggressor to decide when the victim should forget the past. Japan has no right to tell other countries that they must stop remembering what it has done to them. That's stunningly arrogant.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T Nishi
        Yes, politicians have apologised, but that's meaningless if the next day other politicians say that the atrocoties never happened. The Korean and Japanese women who were brutalized are slandered again and again by prominent Japanese politicians who say that they were liars or prostitutes or that they enjoyed it. If Japanese people know the history but they tolerate this kind of talk from prominent members of their society, that makes them even worse. And, by the way, it is not up to the aggressor to decide when the victim should forget the past. Japan has no right to tell other countries that they must stop remembering what it has done to them. That's stunningly arrogant.
        superchan7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T Nishi
        You can't apologize to Chinese and Koreans one day, then have the PM visit Yasukuni Jinja the next day to please his racist conservative supporters. Talk, and then act accordingly. Maybe you might actually convince people that you care. The easiest thing for Japan to do is NOT buy the islands, and remove the war criminals from Yasukuni. I just laughed out loud.
          psedog
          • 2 Years Ago
          @superchan7
          The islands were owned by a Japanese person and bought by the Japanese government. So, in essence the islands were already Japanese.
        Mr.Roadrage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @T Nishi
        Yes, politicians have apologised, but that's meaningless if the next day other politicians say that the atrocoties never happened. The Korean and Japanese women who were brutalized are slandered again and again by prominent Japanese politicians who say that they were liars or prostitutes or that they enjoyed it. If Japanese people know the history but they tolerate this kind of talk from prominent members of their society, that makes them even worse.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Free Tibet? Take down the Internet firewalls? Honor those at Tiananmen square? No, just smash some cars. That will make your country stronger.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too much craziness over a bunch of tiny islands.
      howzz1854
      • 2 Years Ago
      bunch of idiots.
      car-a-holic
      • 2 Years Ago
      These tensions were never far from surface. Wow.... What a mess. Now all we need is to have the middle east go into total meltdown. Now how about them nice audis??????? Love those cars
      FoxJ30
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder if Audi only distanced themselevs in English and German and forgot to translate the message to Chinese...
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ah! the foolishness, & greed, of human nature.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      This kind of vitriol over a bunch of inconsequential privately owned islands? Humans are idiots and the worst species on the planet.
      NoBoost
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess in Audi's mind... They weigh the option of saying something against the dealer, and then losing sales in China or possibly be added to the list of hated companies in this feud. Or they turn a blind eye and say "We don't talk politics" but if you hate Japanese cars, please buy from us. As a comparison if the USA had a strong nationalist movement where they wanted to attack another country, I'm sure that Audi would turn a blind eye. There's no money to be made when getting in-between a feud.
      Billy Seroyer
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are protesting Japan, by destroying there own property? Canada could have bought all of Alaska and I would not care at all.
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