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Chinese official denounces use of ukiyo-e to rap Fukushima’s water release

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A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry has been criticized for using a parody image of an ukiyo-e painting by artist Katsushika Hokusai to criticize Japan’s decision to release treated radioactive water from the nuclear power plant n ° 1 of Fukushima.

On Monday, Zhao Lijian posted on his Twitter account a photo based on a piece from the popular “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series painted by the ukiyo-e master during the Edo period (1603-1868), irritatingly Japanese government officials. .

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“If Katsushika Hokusai, the original author is still alive today, he would also be very concerned about #JapanNuclearWater,” Zhao, known as one of Beijing’s die-hard diplomats, said in his Twitter post, with the picture.

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The Foreign Ministry has lodged a protest with China against Zhao’s post, seen as an insult to Japanese culture, and called for its removal, sources familiar with the matter said. The photo remained visible online as of Tuesday evening.

The parody image, said to have been drawn by a Chinese illustrator, shows a person wearing an orange protective suit on a boat pouring deep green liquid from a bucket into the sea. Mount Fuji is also replaced by what appears to be a nuclear central.

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In the past, Zhao has been criticized by other countries after tweeting that the novel coronavirus was brought by the US military to the city of Wuhan in central China, the original epicenter of the pandemic. .

On April 13, Japan decided to start dumping treated water from the crippled Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant into the sea in two years, a major development after years of discussions on how to handle the water used. to cool the molten fuel. the.

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Besides China, South Korea and Taiwan have voiced their opposition to the decision, saying the treated water will harm the marine environment, food safety and human health.

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Japanese officials, meanwhile, say other countries that operate nuclear power plants, such as China and South Korea, have released treated radioactive water from their reactors into the environment.

Twitter cannot be seen in China without using virtual private networks.

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