Screenshots from China’s social media platforms — WeChat and Weibo — reveal some Chinese netizens to be celebrating the assassination of Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe, even hailing the attacker as a “hero.”
While several world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, offered their condolences to the archipelago nation for the death of its former leader, Chinese nationalists took to Weibo and WeChat to celebrate the event with champagne emojis. In a Twitter thread, Chinese artist and activist Badiucao posted screenshots of the conversations onto his page, exposing the posters.
“Abe is dead, it’s like, open champagne,” wrote one user.
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“I hate my country’s government, but that doesn’t stop me from loving my country or celebrating Abe’s death. Good to die! Pop champagne! well done,” commented another netizen.
Chinese nationalists, however, were not the only ones unafraid to point out Abe’s controversial legacy.
One user, under the account “Scissorbooks,” described Abe as a “fascist and revisionist” who refused to acknowledge war crimes against China and Korea during World War II, referring to the Nanking Massacre and Korean comfort women.
NPR also deleted a heavily criticized tweet from Friday labeling Abe as “a divisive, arch-conservative.”
The full post read: “Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.”
Some right-wing Twitter users described the label as “awful,” citing “the only way” to get respect from the left is to be an “austere religious scholar.” Abe, 67, died on Friday at a local Japanese hospital after suffering from two gunshot wounds to the neck by 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, who was reportedly dissatisfied with the former leader.