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 user 2005-04-10 at 9:57:00 am Views: 45
  • #8731

    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.