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Japanese in spirit

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Jīng Rì | 精日

Derisive label for someone perceived to be overly pro-Japan. The term first appeared in 2014 on Baidu Baike. Although the exact origin of jing Ri is unclear, it has gained popularity among nationalistic social media users, and has been weaponized by the Chinese authorities in criminal investigations.

In May 2018, nationalistic Weibo users labelled Chinese entrepreneur Luo Yonghao jing Ri for his past comments on Japan. Luo replied that he did not believe there was any problem with being Japanese in spirit, although he didn't consider himself as such. Official media outlet Beijing Daily called Luo "ridiculous," offering a definition of the offense he had supposedly committed:

These people look up to Japan to the point of hating the Chinese people and the Chinese race. They even feel ashamed for being Chinese. They not only see Japan as a "utopia" but also do their best to whitewash the countless crimes committed by Japanese militarists. [Chinese]

On July 28, 2019, police from seven different cities simultaneously announced that they had detained social media users who had posted content deemed "anti-China" and "Japanese in spirit." It was unclear what prompted the apparently-coordinated action.

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