The assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has drawn a wide-range of reactions on the Chinese internet, with some garnering more attention than others.
One of those which gained widespread attention was that of a retired professor of Chinese literature at Tangshan Normal University.
Shi Wen Ying, her real name, retired from her position in 2017.
Under the Weibo username @潇元_ _ _励志与爱情, Shi published a post on July 8, the day of Abe’s death, in which she stated she “rejoiced” in the fact that she hadn't seen anyone on her WeChat Moments “jumping for joy” over Abe’s assassination. When referring to Chinese people, she used an 'anti-China' slur.
Shi's Weibo post can be seen above. Image via 观察者网
Shi’s Weibo account now appears to have been disabled in response to her comments.
Despite Shi having been retired five years, Tangshan Normal University didn’t keep quiet about its former employee, putting out a statement saying they “took the matter extremely seriously” and that there would be an “investigation.” (We’re not exactly sure of the consequences for former employees).
Shinzo Abe served as the leader of the politically right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He was elected as Japan’s prime minister from 2006-2007 and later from 2012-2020.
Abe was speaking at a political rally on behalf of an LDP candidate on Friday, July 8 when he was shot and taken to hospital. He later died as a result.
A 41-year-old male, named as Tetsuya Yamagami, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Abe's nationalist views, and what many refer to as his revisionist approach to historic Japanese war crimes, caused outrage and anger in China, South Korea, and even in certain sectors of Japanese society.
His visit to Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni Shrine, a site associated with Japanese militarism, was seen by many as confirmation of his attempts to whitewash Japan's atrocities during the war.
Many in China didn’t hesitate to share their joy regarding Abe’s death; viral images and videos showed stores and restaurants offering deals in celebration, and even a nightclub in which party-goers could be seen celebrating the assassination.
However, there were also reminders from some to separate politics from personal tragedy.
Former editor-in-chief of Global Times Hu Xijin said on Weibo that he would “put politics to one side when it came to Abe’s assassination,” adding that “as a veteran of Chinese media, he would resolutely abide by this principle in the public sphere.”
[Cover image via Weibo/@ETtoday新聞雲]