ANTI-JAPAN PROTEST CONTINUE IN CHINA
ANTI-JAPAN PROTEST CONTINUE IN CHINA
2005-04-10 at 9:53:00 am #8730
Anti-Japan Protests Continue in China
BEIJING – Anti-Japan protests erupted for a
second day in China on Sunday, as Tokyo demanded an apology and better
protection for its citizens and diplomats after demonstrators smashed windows
and threw eggs at the Japanese embassy.
Demonstrations against Japan have spread in China since
Tokyo approved a new history textbook that critics say glosses over atrocities
by Japan’s military in the first half of the 20th century, including forcing
tens of thousands of Asian women into sex slavery.
Beijing denounced the decision, calling the book “poison”
for youthful minds in Japan.
Some 10,000 protesters surrounded a Japanese-run Jasco
supermarket in the southern city of Shenzhen on Sunday, said Ide Keiji, a
spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.
They shouted “Boycott Japanese goods!” and some threw
plastic bottles of mineral water at the store.
About 3,000 people marched toward the Japanese Consulate
General in the southern city of Guangzhou for a peaceful “spontaneous
demonstration” and police were maintaining order, said a spokesman with the
Guangzhou municipal government who refused to give his name when reached by
Police prevented demonstrators from getting near the
consulate, Keiji said.
A Hong Kong Cable Television correspondent reporting from
Guangzhou said the protesters threw eggs at Japanese restaurants as they passed
On Saturday, about 1,000 protesters hurled rocks and broke
windows at Japan’s Embassy in Beijing, demanding a boycott of Japanese goods to
oppose the new schoolbook. They also urged their government to prevent Tokyo
from gaining a permanent seat on the United Nations’ Security Council.
China said Sunday it had ordered anti-Japanese protesters
in Beijing to stay “calm and sane” and mobilized extra police to maintain public
order but Japanese officials complained that not enough was done.
When the protesters arrived at the embassy, security forces
allowed people to throw stones, said Keiji.
“They let them do that, they didn’t stop, they didn’t
arrest,” he said.
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 also summoned
China’s ambassador on Sunday to protest the rally and demand compensation for
Keiji said Japan used diplomatic channels to “repeatedly
request” protection of Japanese interests last week following demonstrations in
the southern cities of Shenzhen and Chengdu and were given assurances from
Saturday’s protest outside of the embassy came after a
noisy rally by more than 6,000 people in the university district in Beijing’s
northwest, where some burned a Japanese flag.
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. Anti-Japanese sentiment
runs deep among Chinese, with many resenting what they see as Tokyo’s failure to
atone for its wartime aggression.
Saturday’s protest was the biggest in Beijing since 1999,
when the U.S. Embassy was besieged after NATO warplanes bombed Beijing’s Embassy
in Belgrade during the war over Kosovo.
A trade association for Chinese chain stores called last
week for a boycott of beer, coffee and other products made by Japanese companies
that it claims supported the textbook revision.
Protesters also oppose Tokyo’s campaign for a permanent
seat on the U.N. Security Council – a status held now by only China, the United
States, Russia, Britain and France.
The Chinese government has not said whether it will oppose
a Security Council seat for Japan. But Beijing regards Tokyo as its rival for
supremacy in Asia and could be unwilling to give up its status as the only Asian
nation with a permanent council seat, which carries veto power over U.N.