News program Focus Today, on government-run China Central Television, ran a segment yesterday alleging that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks war with China. The news caster mentions all the weapons Japan’s acquired from the United States, as well as weapons Japan is keeping a secret from the rest of the world.
As these conspiracy theories are being explained, the show runs footage of a series of military vehicles…including a shot of Mobile Suit Gundam! No mention of it was made as it appeared on screen, but in context it certainly appears that Focus Today wants viewers to believe Japan has real mechs at their military’s disposal.
The shot is so brief too…it’s as if they were hoping it would incite fear before anyone had time to recognize where it came from. Or perhaps a production person working on the clip snuck the Gundam clip in as a prank?
This would not be the first time Chinese news has claimed a Japanese toy as evidence of Japanese aggression. In 2013, Chinese news site Xinhua made an issue out of the packaging art for a Japanese model navy ship, citing a sinking Chinese Liaoning aircraft carrier in the background as an insult to the Chinese navy. That same year, Chinese newspaper Global Times claimed personal artwork off a Japanese game artist’s DeviantArt page to be concept designs for a real military project in production with the JSDF.
At least CCTV has yet to discover The Gundam Fever Project’s prank videos. No doubt they’d claim it as leaked Japanese intelligence, or evidence that the Japanese government is using intimidation to keep their citizens quiet.