News of the death of the former Japanese prime minister is dominating Chinese social media today. The communist government’s embassy in Tokyo did issue condolences. Yet the sentiment on the internet, unlike that voiced by most others around the world, is not one of condemnation or shock or sympathy, but rather one of glee.
Weibo, the Chinese Communist Party-controlled platform, is filled with comments rejoicing in the attack that killed Shinzo Abe. One post says it is fitting that Abe should atone with his life for Japan’s invasion of China just a day after the 85th anniversary of the start of the hostilities in 1937. That has garnered, at last check, 210,000 likes. Another –– “Let the celebrations begin” –– had more than 150,000 likes within 30 minutes.
On TikTok, the short-form video hosting platform owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance, the commentary is no less callous. “I have a 20-year-old bottle of wine that I have been saving for the right time. Tonight is the night,” reads one comment. “Chinese New Year celebrations came early this year,” reads another. “I hope the shooter is safe,” a third says.
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