China and South Korea are facing intense criticism in Japan after both nations refused to attend the official 2nd anniversary memorial service for the 3/11 tragedy, with China even going a step further and criticising Japan for allowing Taiwan to present a wreath at the ceremony.
The Japanese government’s 2nd anniversary memorial service for the tragedy of 3/11 saw victims of the disaster joined by the prime minister and emperor.
However, amongst the over 150 other nations joining the service, two were conspicuously absent – China and South Korea both refused to send representatives.
Japan’s foreign ministry merely comments that “it was the Chinese side’s decision.” China has not given any reason for its decision, and nor has Korea.
The previous year’s service saw Taiwan excluded from the nations providing wreaths as a gesture of appeasement towards China, a decision which was widely criticised in Japan given the extremely sympathetic attitude of Taiwan in response to the tragedy.
This year, likely helped along by the presence of an LDP government and China’s continuing provocations, Taiwan was allowed to present a wreath and announced together with the other participating countries – tacitly acknowledging its independence and infuriating China into the bargain.
China denounced the change, saying it was “firmly opposed” to “any violation of the principles of the joint declaration” and voicing its “intense dissatisfaction and protest” against the development, although it has not gone so far as to tie the two events together.
Online there has been almost universal condemnation (some are evidently happier with them staying away) of both nations, with efforts to politicise attendance at such an event being seen as in the worst possible taste.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the 11th also saw reports of Chinese patrol ships once again circling the disputed Senkaku islands.