A footage of a man dressed in Imperial Japanese military uniform leading a wedding motorcade on a city road went viral and sparked nationwide condemnation.
The 10-second video taken on May 27 shows the man riding a vintage motorcycle with a rifle mostly used by Japanese aggressors in World WarⅡon his back and giving a thumbs-up to the camera before the motorcade started marching in North China's Tianjin municipality.
Angry netizens called him as a "spiritual Japanese", which refers to a non-Japanese nationals who worships Japanese militarism and resent their own nationals. A "spiritual Japanese" usually does things such as being infatuated with Japanese military uniforms, taking selfies outside memorials and other locations associated with the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), or defaming anti-Japanese aggression heroes.
Facing pressure, the man released a video online of apology the next day. Calling himself a 36-year-old veteran, Liu Bin said that he had played the role of a Japanese militant at an anti-Japanese internet drama earlier that day and did not get time to change the costume before attending his friend's wedding ceremony.
He denied he is a "spiritual Japanese" and regretted what he had done. He added that he loves China.
In recent years, several incidents of "spiritual Japanese" on Japanese military uniforms taking photos outside war memorials and posting them online have sparked people's anger. Some of these trouble makers were charged with disturbing public order and detained for days.
To prevent public behavior deemed to glorify Japan's invasion of China, a revision to a draft law on national heroes and martyrs was submitted for second review to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, on April 25, 2018. A new clause would outlaw such behavior, opening the door to tougher penalties.
Hu Keming, vice-chairman of the NPC's Constitution and Law Committee, said such behavior damages the dignity of the State, hurts people's feelings and has a negative effect on society.
Legal consequences need to be further clarified and penalties increased, he said.