More anti-Japan protests over East China Sea islands

 

Security personnel tightened their guard of the Japanese Embassy today as crowds of Chinese continued to protest in the capital and across the country in sometimes violent demonstrations over islands claimed by both nations. Japan's leader said the dispute was affecting the safety of Japanese citizens in China.

Rows of paramilitary police lined the perimeter of the embassy in Beijing as police let protesters in groups of up to 100 walk past the building.

Many protesters threw items such as water bottles, bananas, tomatoes and eggs at the embassy and chanted that the disputed East China Sea islands, which are controlled by Japan, belong to China. Dozens carried portraits of Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, who is often used as a rallying symbol. One man draped the Japanese flag over his dog. 

Riot police stood on nearby streets, and around 20 of their vehicles were parked behind the embassy. 

Security forces wearing helmets and carrying shields fired tear gas into crowds of people in Shenzhen city in southern Guangdong province. Some protesters picked up smoking tear gas canisters and hurled them back in the direction of the security forces. Protesters also overturned a police vehicle and smashed its window. No one was reported injured. 

In the provincial capital, Guangzhou, a small number of protesters broke into a hotel next to the Japanese Consulate and smashed windows and a Japanese restaurant, state news agency Xinhua's Guangzhou office said. It said police detained several people for damaging property. Police in Guangzhou were asking the public to use their camera phones to record people smashing property and offer the evidence to police, Xinhua said. 

In Shanghai, hundreds of protesters across from the main gate of the Japanese Consulate chanted and waved banners. About 50 paramilitary police officers stood outside. Police cordoned off the street and were allowing people to protest in groups of 50 for about five to 10 minutes before escorting them away. 

Anti-Japanese sentiment, never far from the surface in China, has been building for weeks, touched off by moves by Tokyo and fanned by a feverish campaign in Chinese state media. Passions grew more heated this past week after Japan's government purchased the contested East China Sea islands — called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan — from their privateJapanese owners. 

"We will not stand passively by and allow our territory and sovereignty to be invaded," a female voice said over loudspeakers broadcasting government messages in streets near the embassy. They urged people to obey the law and not to "disturb the social order." 

Many of the protesters were in their 20s and 30s, but older people and families also took part. 

On Saturday, protesters turned out in more than two dozen cities across China. Thousands gathered in Beijing in front of the embassy, where people burned Japanese flags and clashed with Chinese paramilitary police before order was restored. 

The embassy said Saturday that protesters around the country had set fire to Japanese factories, sabotaged assembly lines, looted department stores and illegally entered Japanese businesses. In Qingdao city on the east coast, protesters set fire to a Panasonic factory and Toyota dealership. In southern Changsha city, goods were looted from a Japanese department store. 

"Unfortunately, this is an issue that is impacting the safety of our citizens and causing damage to the property of Japanese businesses," Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told public broadcaster NHK today. He said Japan deplored the violence, and called on both sides to share information and maintain close communications. 

In a sign that the Chinese government is concerned about social disorder spreading, users of China's popular Twitter-like Sina Weibo site couldn't search for the term "anti-Japanprotests" today, and censors were quickly deleting videos of protests. 

Some online users said they didn't dare drive around in their Japanese cars over the weekend. 

Protests also spread outside China, with hundreds of Chinese-Americans marching in San Francisco's Chinatown on Saturday to demonstrate against Japan's purchase of the islands. 

Further complicating matters, Japan's newly appointed ambassador to China, Shinichi Nishimiya, died today, three days after collapsing near his home in Tokyo. No official cause of death was released. He had been appointed ambassador on Tuesday, and was to assume his new post next month. 

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed