abe beheading top

This is no April Fool’s joke: on April 1, a group of  anti-Japanese protestors gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korea to rally against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressing the U.S. Congress later this month.

Things started to get out of control when an effigy with Abe’s face was beheaded ISIS-style, and a Japanese imperial flag was sliced to pieces with a knife. The protest is being called “too extreme” even by those sympathetic to their cause.

Prime Minster Abe is scheduled to appear before all of the U.S. Congress, the first Japanese leader to do so, on April 29. He will spend eight days in the U.S., promoting economic relations between the U.S. and Japan as well as addressing the possibility of removing the restraints on Japan having a national army – part of its constitution since the end of World War II – in response to nearby China.

Of course, not everyone is in agreement with Japan getting its own army. Here’s the video of the protestors outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul with the “beheading” of Prime Minster Abe coming right at the beginning: (While not technically violent, we would like to warn any sensitive viewers to refrain from watching.)

Here are some translations of comments made by Korean netizens about the protest, ranging from disappointment to outright praise:

“Them doing that just puts them on the same level as the Japanese.”
“As a Korean, I’m sad to see this. They’re no better than Abe.”
“I got goosebumps watching. This is too much….”
“Prime Minister Abe may not be liked by the Korean people, but he’s doing his best to protect the lives and pride of the Japanese people. The ones who should really be protested against are the Japanophiles in the Korean government.”
“It’s good to criticize Abe, but not like this. It’s too brutal and horrifying.”
“Now will Abe understand the pain we Koreans feel?”

While Abe’s address to congress and Japan’s national army are contentious issues, we hope that the style of protest that the demonstration group used doesn’t spark any more ISIS-inspired killings in any country.

Source: Yahoo! News via Itai News, Reuters
Top image: YouTube