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Outrage in Japan as ‘indoctrination’ blamed for stabbings of woman, child in China

The woman, who has not been identified but is in her 30s, and her preschool age son were apparently attacked on Monday along with a Chinese woman as they waited for a bus to her other child’s Japanese school in the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province.

The city is a key location for many Japanese corporations’ operations in China and has a sizeable Japanese expatriate population, as well as Japanese schools and shops.

The woman and her child were treated at a local hospital and did not sustain serious injuries, although the Chinese woman was in a critical condition, Jiji Press reported.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman on Tuesday called the knife attack an isolated incident and said it could have happened in any country in the world.

The embassy called on Japanese to pay “careful attention to the surrounding situation”, pointing out that there had been a number of stabbing incidents in China in recent months. The Suzhou Japanese school was closed on Tuesday, and other Japanese schools around the country have been instructed to step up security.

“Behind these kinds of incidents are years of anti-Japanese and anti-US propaganda promulgated by the Chinese government,” said Yoichi Shimada, a professor of international relations at Fukui Prefectural University.

“It is no secret that the atmosphere and feelings against Japanese and Americans in China have been steadily getting worse, and I see no other source of that dislike, which sometimes – as in this case – verges on irrational hatred,” he told This Week in Asia.

Chinese children are taught from a young age about the Japanese invasion of mainland Asia in the early decades of the last century, along with the atrocities committed in Nanjing and elsewhere during the conflict,