CHINA / SOCIETY
NE China's 'little Kyoto' halts operation amid controversy over war trauma, cultural invasion
Published: Sep 03, 2021 03:53 PM
Photo taken on Nov. 17, 2017 shows red autumn leaves in Kyoto's Arashiyama district, Japan.Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 17, 2017 shows red autumn leaves in Kyoto's Arashiyama district, Japan.Photo: Xinhua

 

A Japan-themed shopping street in Dalian, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, suspended operation on Friday after sparking controversy as Dalian was previously colonized and deeply traumatized by the Japanese invasion. 

The operator of the "little Kyoto"street said trial operations had ended and it will tackle problems that emerged in the process. The time for formal operation will be announced later, media reported Friday. 

The controversial street, costing about 6 billion yuan ($927 million,) was developed by a local real estate agency in Dalian and opened on August 21. The street highly resembles Japanese city Kyoto in every way and it was reported that only Japanese firms and joint firms with more than 50 percent Japanese investment can open businesses on the street. 

It is the third Japanese style street in China following streets in Guangzhou in South China and Suzhou in East China, but due to Dalian's history, "little Kyoto" met huge criticism with the public questioning if it is appropriate to build such a street in a city that suffered invasions by Japanese troops during late Qing, including the bloodshed massacre of Lüshun in 1894, and World War II. 

It is not that China cannot receive Japanese investment or have economic and cultural exchanges with Japan due to the history. But at a time when Japan refuses to recognize or apologize for its right-wing forces in Japan, who keep glorifying Japan's invasions, and some politicians who continuously visit the infamous Yasukuni Shrine, a city like Dalian must be cautious not to harm national emotions, observers said. 

"Could it be another form of cultural invasion? We should raise the alarm," a netizen commented on Chinese social media. 

Global Times 


blog comments powered by Disqus