KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan may have lost the support of his Japanese fans after news of his thumbs up for the Hong Kong national security legislation by the action star was highlighted by Japanese media.
Reports of Chan and other Hong Kong celebrities voicing their support for the legislation carried by the Japanese media, stated that the mainland market is very important to the performing arts industry in Hong Kong.
It also added artists failing to show their support stand to lose out on opportunities from the Chinese market .
Other Japanese media pointed out that many of Chan’s recent films were shot in China, leading critics to believe that Chinese government is leveraging the popularity of artists.
Hong Kong daily Apple Daily quoted a tweet by Japanese actor Atsushi Onita, who was one of those who expressed his disappointment with Chan's action.
"Why my hero supported the legislation?" the actor wrote in his tweet.
Beijing Daily had previously reported that aside from Chan, 2,604 Hong Kong celebrities have co-signed a statement to support China's national security legislation for Hong Kong.
The signatories include veteran entertainers such as Alan Tam, Eric Tsang, Kara Wai, Warren Mok, Kenny Bee, Cally Kwong, Liza Wang and Bak-Ming Wong, as well as entertainment and cultural tycoons such as Albert Yeung, Charles Heung and Kenneth Fok.
The law seeks to prevent external interference in Hong Kong's affairs, criminalise acts that threaten national security such as subversion and secession, allow Beijing to establish a national security agency in Hong Kong when necessary and require the chief executive to send the central government periodic reports on national security.
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since June last year as protesters rallied in the heart of the business district against a proposed bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
Although the bill was eventually withdrawn, the protest movement evolved into broader appeals for democracy in the city amid fears Beijing was going against its pledge to give Hong Kongers freedom not enjoyed on the mainland.