A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has drawn criticism for using a parody picture of a ukiyo-e painting by artist Katsushika Hokusai to take a jab at Japan’s decision to release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
On Monday, Zhao Lijian posted to his Twitter account a picture based on a piece in the popular “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” series painted by the ukiyo-e master during the Edo Period (1603-1868), irking Japanese government officials.
“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 hard-line diplomats, said in his Twitter post, along with the picture.
The Foreign Ministry has lodged a protest with China over Zhao’s post, which is viewed as insulting Japanese culture, and called for its deletion, sources familiar with the matter said. The picture remained viewable online as of Tuesday night.
The parody picture, believed to have been drawn by a Chinese illustrator, depicts 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 power plant.
In the past, Zhao came under fire from some other countries after he tweeted that the novel coronavirus was brought by the US Army to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic.
On April 13, Japan decided to begin releasing the treated water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in two years time, a major development after years of discussions on how to deal with the water used to cool down melted fuel there.
In addition to China, both South Korea and Taiwan have expressed opposition to the decision, claiming that the treated water will hurt the marine environment, food safety and human health.
Japanese officials, meanwhile, argue that other countries operating nuclear power plants, such as China and South Korea, have released treated radioactive water from reactors there into the environment.
Twitter cannot be seen in China without using virtual private networks.
This is not a CAPTIS article. Originally, it was published here.