Raw Video: Anti-Japan Riots in China
More anti-Japan protests in China over islands
By LOUISE WATT | Associated Press – Sun, Sep 16, 2012
Anti-Japan protesters hold a banner that reads "Protect China's inseparable territory" as they march on a road outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Security personnel outnumbered the crowds of Chinese protesting against Japan outside its embassy on Sunday, a day after demonstrations over islands that both nations claim spread across China and turned violent. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Chinese demonstrators raise national flags as they confront riot policemen during a protest against Japan in Shenzhen, China Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Protesters in China began another day of demonstrations against Japan, after protests over disputed islands spread across numerous cities and at times turned violent. (AP Photo/Apple Daily) HONG KONG OUT, TAIWAN OUT, NO SALES less
A Chinese demonstrator throws a teargas canister back to the riot policemen during a protest against Japan in Shenzhen, China Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Protesters in China began another day of demonstrations against Japan, after protests over disputed islands spread across numerous cities and at times turned violent. (AP Photo/Apple Daily) HONG KONG OUT, TAIWAN OUT, NO SALES less
Anti-Japan protesters wave Chinese flags as they march outside the Japanese Embassy, guarded by paramilitary police in riot suits, in Beijing Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Security personnel outnumbered the crowds of Chinese protesting against Japan outside its embassy on Sunday, a day after demonstrations over islands that both nations claim spread across China and turned violent. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan) less
A Chinese demonstrator throws a teargas canister back to riot policemen during a protest against Japan in Shenzhen, China Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Protesters in China have begun another day of demonstrations against Japan, after protests over disputed islands spread across numerous cities and at times turned violent. (AP Photo/Apple Daily) HONG KONG OUT, TAIWAN OUT, NO SALES
Chinese protesters march with banners declaring Diaoyu Islands, known as Senkaku to Japanese, belongs to China and a portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong near the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, China, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A Chinese demonstrator kicks a broken police vehicle during a protest against Japan in Shenzhen, China Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Protesters in China began another day of demonstrations against Japan, after protests over disputed islands spread across numerous cities and at times turned violent. (AP Photo/Apple Daily)
Associated Press/Alexander F. Yuan - Anti-Japan protesters hold a banner that reads "Protect China's inseparable territory" as they march on a road outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing Sunday, Sept. 16, …more
A Chinese demonstrator throws a …
BEIJING (AP) — Security personnel tightened their guard of the Japanese Embassy on Sunday 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.
Over 10,000 people marched in the provincial capital, Guangzhou, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said. Its Guangzhou office reported a small number of protesters broke into a hotel next to the Japanese Consulate and smashed windows and a Japanese restaurant, and that 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.
Nearly 4,000 people demonstrated in the capital of China's tropical Hainan island, and largely peaceful protests occurred in seven other cities in the north, south and east "with few instances of looting and car smashing," Xinhua reported. Some restaurants and stores selling Japanese goods closed and hung up Chinese flags as protesters approached, it said.
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 private Japanese 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 on Sunday. 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-Japan protests" on Sunday, 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 Sunday, 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.
Associated Press Television producer Aritz Parra and researcher Henry Hou in Beijing, writers Eric Talmadge in Tokyo and Daisy Nguyen in Los Angeles, and photographer Eugene Hoshiko in Shanghai contributed to this report.
Anti-Japan protests again erupt across China
7:45 am | Monday, September 17th, 2012
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A group of paramilitary policemen are surrounded by anti-Japan protesters outside Shenzhen city’s Communist Party headquarters, in southern China’s Guangdong province, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Protesters in China continued another day of demonstrations against Japan Sunday, after protests over disputed islands spread across numerous cities and at times turned violent. AP
BEIJING—Thousands of anti-Japanese demonstrators mounted protests in cities across China on Sunday over disputed islands in the East China Sea, a day after an attempt to storm Tokyo’s embassy in the capital.
Beijing was infuriated last week when Japan said it had bought the rocky outcrops and while the authorities often suppress demonstrations, many of Sunday’s events took place with police escorting marchers, while state-run media called the protests “reasonable”.
Still, there were reports of violence. Demonstrators in the southern city of Shenzhen — some holding a banner calling for a “bloodbath” in Tokyo — clashed with riot police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, Hong Kong broadcaster Cable TV showed.
It also showed footage of more than 1,000 protesters burning Japanese flags in nearby Guangzhou and storming a hotel next to the Japanese consulate. Chinese state media reported a turnout of more than 10,000 in the city.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called on China to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens and businesses after widespread protests on Saturday saw attacks on individuals, establishments and Japanese-built cars.
“This situation is a great disappointment and so we are protesting” to China, he told Fuji Television.
Japanese media said that Panasonic, whose production line in Qingdao was damaged by protesters Saturday, had decided to suspend operations at the factory until at least Tuesday.
About 10 employees had shouted anti-Japan slogans, the Kyodo News agency said.
The relationship between China and Japan, the world’s second and third largest economies, is often strained by their historical rivalry even though they have significant business links.
The row over the islands, which Tokyo administers and calls Senkaku while Beijing claims them and knows them as Diaoyu, has heightened in recent weeks.
Six Chinese ships sailed into waters around the disputed archipelago Friday, with Beijing saying they were there for “law enforcement”, prompting Tokyo to summon the Chinese ambassador to protest what it called a territorial incursion.
The mission was “successful” in asserting Beijing’s jurisdiction over the islands, Xiao Huiwu, deputy head of the China Marine Surveillance agency, told Xinhua, as it “achieved the goal of demonstrating China’s sovereignty claim and ensured the country’s maritime interests”.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, speaking before arriving in Tokyo on a trip to Asia, warned on Sunday that China and other Asian countries could end up at war over territorial disputes if governments keep up “provocative behaviour”, as he referred to tensions in both the East China Sea and South China Sea.
Pictures posted on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, showed marches Sunday in half a dozen cities around the country, while the state-run Xinhua news agency reported protests in five others. Japanese media however said the protests had spread to “at least 108 cities” across China.
In Beijing, thousands of protesters gathered outside the Japanese embassy, carrying posters of Mao Zedong and Japanese flags scrawled with obscenities, throwing beer bottles and singing the national anthem.
But large numbers of police escorted the protesters as they marched past the building, while volunteers wearing red armbands gave food and water to demonstrators and a medical team stood by.
In Shanghai, where there were major protests on Saturday, more than 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside the Japanese consulate, one group chanting “Down with little Japan.”
Police blocked off roads using shipping containers and plastic barriers, but guided marchers through police lines to protest in front of the building.
One Weibo user in the southeastern city of Quanzhou contacted by AFP said: “There’s no violence, just peaceful marches under police guidance.”
Hundreds of protesters also marched to the Japanese consulate in the former British colony of Hong Kong.
Microbloggers questioned whether Sunday’s demonstrations were spontaneous.
“Such large-scale uniform banners and dresses cannot be made in one day. Do you really believe it’s people-initiated?” wrote a Weibo user named Linglingqi.
Another named Afraxafra said: “I feel such a massive demonstration definitely cannot be organised by a small number of average people.”
Xinhua said that companies and “social groups” organised some protests, while others were publicised through online forums and messaging services.
A commentary from the agency called the weekend protests “a reasonable move and natural reaction” to Japanese “provocation” and urged Tokyo to take notice, even as it warned protesters against damaging property.
China National Radio said 1,000 Chinese fishing boats were preparing to head to the disputed waters after the fishing season in the area resumed.
Another flashpoint could be Tuesday’s anniversary of the 1931 “Mukden incident” that led to Japan’s invasion of Manchuria, which is commemorated every year in China.