Anti-Japan protesters march in Chinese cityAgence France-Presse
Beijing – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of an eastern Chinese city on Saturday to demonstrate against Japan’s claims to a disputed island chain, state media reported.
The latest rally came after anti-Japan protests broke out in more than a dozen Chinese cities including Beijing and Hong Kong the previous weekend.
Demonstrators gathered on Saturday in the port city of Rizhao, in Shandong province, and marched towards the city government office with the crowd swelling to more than 400 people, the official Xinhua news agency said.
They carried banners with slogans including “Japanese get out of the Diaoyu Islands”, the report said, adding that four people stood atop a sport utility vehicle and raised a Chinese flag.
The small, uninhabited islands located in the East China Sea are known in China as Diaoyu and in Japan as Senkaku. Japan controls them, though China and Taiwan also claim ownership.
The dispute has been around for decades and periodically flares up. Earlier this month, passions rose when pro-China activists from Hong Kong sailed to the islands and some landed. Japan took 14 people into custody and expelled them.
Shortly after, a group of Japanese activists sailed to the islands and also landed, sparking diplomatic protests by the Chinese and Taiwan governments and the angry street demonstrations last weekend in Chinese cities.
Saturday’s demonstration came a day after lawmakers in Japan’s lower house of parliament adopted a resolution condemning the visit to the islands by the pro-Beijing activists.
China’s foreign ministry on Friday again issued a statement criticising Japan’s stance on the row and reiterating its view that that the islands belong to China.