Alien Resurrection
A shot of the alien in Alien: Resurrection20th Century Fox

Three years ago Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami that killed 15,800 people.

At 2:46pm every Japanese television channel paused to remember the dead, cancelling their regularly scheduled programming to show the prayers of Japanese people around the country.

That is, every channel except one. One decided to air Alien: Resurrection instead.

Japanese site 2ch.net (via Kotaku) noted collected these images to show what it looked like.

Japanese Tsunami Anniversary
2ch.net
Japanese Tsunami Anniversary
2ch.net
Alien Resurrection
20th Century Fox

It's hardly unexpected however. TV Tokyo never reports on big important news as it breaks, and are so famous for their inaction that it has become known as "The Legend of TV Tokyo".

That said the network does have a news team with stations around the country. Maybe they took the took the afternoon off, or maybe they honestly wanted to provide an alternative.

Then again, what kind of alternative is the critically-panned Alien: Resurrection anyway, and can they really air such a gory, violent film at 2:30 in the afternoon?

Many were still furious with the channel's decision to forego the obvious and air Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 1997 sci-fi slasher – while others saw the funny side, turning it into something of a meme. Simply enough, the meme has imagery from five networks showing important news events (plane crashes, elections) and then a sixth showing something totally unrelated.

Here are a few.

Japanese Tsunami Anniversary
Japanese Tsunami Anniversary
Japanese Tsunami Anniversary