Anti-Japan protests continue in China

Anti-Japan protests have erupted for a second day in China after Tokyo demanded better protection for its interests following Saturday's scenes of demonstrators smashing windows at Japan's embassy in Beijing.

    On Saturday, protesters threw rocks at the Japanese embassy

    About 3000 people marched on Sunday towards the Japanese Consulate-General in the southern city of Guangzhou for a peaceful "spontaneous demonstration" and police were maintaining order, a spokesman with the Guangzhou municipal government said.

    Ide Keiji, a spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, said police prevented demonstrators from getting near the consulate.

    A Hong Kong cable TV correspondent reporting from the scene said the protesters threw eggs at Japanese restaurants as they passed by.

    In the southern city of Shenzhen, up to 600 protesters marched to a Japanese department store. They shouted "Boycott Japanese goods" and some threw plastic bottles of mineral water at a store selling Japanese camera equipment.

    Windows broken

    On Saturday, about 1000 protesters threw rocks and broke windows at Japan's embassy in Beijing, demanding a boycott of Japanese goods to oppose new schoolbooks critics say distort Japan's wartime atrocities.

    Japan says protesters were not
    stopped from throwing stones

    They also urged their government to prevent Tokyo from gaining a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

    China said on Sunday it had urged anti-Japanese protesters in Beijing to stay "calm and sane", and mobilised additional police to maintain public order, but Japanese officials said that not enough was done.

    When the protesters arrived at the embassy, security forces allowed people to throw stones, Keiji said.

    "They let them do that, they didn't stop, they didn't arrest," he said.

    'Gravely regrettable'

    Japan's ambassador to China, Anami Koreshige, called the incident "gravely regrettable" and called on Chinese authorities to protect Japanese citizens and businesses, as well as the embassy and other consulates in China, Keiji said.

    Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura summoned China's ambassador on Sunday to protest against the rally and demand compensation for damages.

    Protesters say they are angered
    by Japan's new history books

    Keiji said Japan used diplomatic channels repeatedly to request the protection of Japanese interests last week after demonstrations in Shenzhen and Chengdu.

    They were given assurances from Beijing.

    Most protests in the Chinese capital are banned, but the government occasionally allows brief rallies by a few dozen people at a time outside the Japanese embassy on key war anniversaries.

    Saturday's protest was the biggest in Beijing since 1999, when the US embassy was besieged after Nato warplanes bombed Beijing's embassy in Belgrade during the war over Kosovo.

    Anger has grown in China and South Korea over the Japanese government's recent approval of new textbooks that critics say gloss over offences by Japan's military, including forcing tens of thousands of women into sex slavery to service troops.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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