Busty child reported to ease anti-Japan tension in China
By GEOFF BOTTING
Shukan Bunshun (May 19)
The wave of anti-Japanese sentiment in China continues, more than a month since the first round of demonstrations against the Japanese government's approval of a controversial school textbook flared throughout the country. Diplomats and politicians on both sides have been trying to diffuse tensions in a flurry of meetings and shuttle diplomacy, but so far these methods have had only limited effect.
At this point, it might seem that a miracle is required to put bilateral relations fully back on track.
Saaya Irie, an 11-year-old Japanese girl, may not be that miracle, but she has clearly played a part in pacifying a certain segment of China's population, according to Shukan Bunshun.
If anything about Saaya is miraculous, it's her body -- she wears an F-cup bra, though she has yet to reach her teens. So when a photo of her in a bikini was posted on a Chinese Internet forum called "100," she immediately caused a sensation.
The pic was accompanied by message -- rendered in mock Marxist rhetoric -- reading: "An 11-year-old Japanese girl with large breasts has a proclamation for all Chinese people! Dear elder brothers, a beautiful young Japanese girl is beseeching you.
"Please stop these anti-Japanese hijinks. If you don't, I won't like you anymore."
At the end of the message, she states that her breasts would "rise up" if the people "unite for the sake of China's democracy."
According to an anonymous source described as an Internet expert, the message and photo were posted by someone involved in www.2ch.net, a Japanese online forum.
"They copied photos onto an anti-Japanese site to see what kind of reaction they'd get," the source says. "They put up the usual photos of porn and animals, but when someone posted a photo of Saaya, many Chinese went for it hook, line and sinker."
Shortly after the photo and message were posted, the number of anti-Japanese postings rapidly declined, largely replaced by messages praising the girl's loveliness.
"This is one Japanese import I won't be boycotting," gushed one admirer. Another said, "She doesn't look 11. She's gotta be 18."
After debuting in Japan in February, Saaya immediately grabbed attention for being so young yet having so ample a bust. Her striking facial features also helped.
In China, the Japanese starlet is fast becoming an Internet superstar. The Chinese version of the Yahoo search engine yields 48,000 hits for the keyword "Saaya," says Shukan Bunshun. "When I meet Chinese people through (online) chat, I get at least one request a day to send pics of Saaya," says Takashi Nakamiya, a freelance writer in Japan.
So how does Saaya feel about all the commotion? A bit frightened, actually, an official at her talent agency says .
"She had a worried look on her face and said, 'I'm shocked. I wish they'd stop,' " the official quotes the starlet as saying when hearing the news. The official added that Saaya finds it hard to believe that she has played any kind of role to smooth bilateral relations.
But in a written message, Saaya says: "I would like to see good relations between Japan and China. If relations are good, I think everyone will be happy."
Shukan Bunshun muses that Tokyo should have sent Saaya rather than a bunch of stuffy government officials to China next time it wants its diplomatic efforts to be effective.
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