Chinese authorities have reportedly ordered fireworks retailers to stop selling a product named “Tokyo Big Bang” out of concern that it could damage the country’s relations with Japan. As if the relations weren’t already damaged enough, the fireworks’ manufacturer says the Chinese authorities are trying to push the message that the country is “peace-loving” and shouldn’t do anything to damage its “friendship” with Japan.
A manager, who only gave his surname as Yang, with the explosives’ manufacturer, Beijing Doudou Fireworks Company, admits that they chose the name “Tokyo Big Bang” based on both patriotism and profits. He explains that when they designed the package and came up with the name, they figured if it was trendy and related to the current political situation it would sell well. Oh, and also because the company is patriotic, of course, Yang quickly added.
Fireworks are a big part of the cultural celebrations in China for the Lunar New Year, which is celebrated on February 10th this year. As a result, the “Tokyo Big Bang” product sold very well for the manufacturer, with Yang saying it was loved by customers. He says that while the ban on sales will surely hurt their profits, it doesn’t matter as long as China’s national interests haven’t been hurt, referring the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands at the center of the tensions with Japan. One shop in Beijing was seen with a pile of its “Tokyo Big Bang” supplies in a back room, however, with the Chinese government and military’s recent actions and statements over the use of weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese ship, it wouldn’t be surprising if the authorities were eager to snap up their own supplies of the fireworks to use on the holiday.
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