HugChina >> China Forum >> China & World >> Anti-Japan protests over disputed Diaoyu islands spread across tens of China's cities

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Edit Title:[HugChina] Anti-Japan protests over disputed Diaoyu islands spread across tens of China's cities
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Bernd Chang
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Anti-Japan protests over its control of disputed Diaoyu islands (Sinkaku) spread across tens of cities in China Sunday, with protesters chanting patriotic slogans, calling to boycott Japanese goods, burning Japanese flags, clashing with Chinese riot police, overturning Japanese cars, smashing Japanese stores.

September 16, 2012, Beijing — Sporadic protests in China against Japan's control of the Diaoyu Islands, which is called Sinkaku in Japan, over the past week became larger and at times violent and spread to at least 85 cities over the weekend, marking the largest anti-Japan protests since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972.

The protests emerged in response to online calls to boycott Japanese goods and stage demonstrations in at least 50 cities on last weekend after Japan on September 11 Tuesday bought Diaoyu Islands from the so-called Japanese private owner, a move having caused fierce protest and condemnation from Chinese government and Taiwan.

As some Japanese factories, stores and restaurants were reportedly vandalized Saturday, Chinese police tightened security around the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, Japanese consulates, and Japanese business facilities in Shanghai, Guangzhou and other major cities. In the meantime, authorities and Chinese state media have beefed up propaganda rhetorics and calls for "rational patriotism" and warned all those participate in violence, rioting will be severely punished.

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 furious campaign in Chinese media. Passions grew more heated this past week after the Japanese government purchased the contested East China Sea islands from their private Japanese owners which China does not recognize.

Japan’s Kyodo News agency said more than 60,000 people protested on Saturday in at least 28 Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chongqing, Qingdao, Changsha, etc., making the anti-Japanese demonstrations the largest since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972. The protests continued and spread to more Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Harbin, Shenzhen, Chengdu and some small ones such as Xiangyang in Hubei, Shangqiu in Henan Sunday. Chinese Authorities estimated at least 80,000 protesters participated in the anti-Japanese protests in at least 85 cities.

The uninhabited islands in East China Sea, 200 miles north of Taiwan and 2000 miles away from Tokyo, called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese are traditional fishing field for the Chinese living in Taiwan and mainland China for centuries. But they have been controlled by Japan since Japan defeated then Qing Dynasty and occupied Taiwan together with the small Diaoyu Islands.

Tensions have been growing for months over the East China Sea islands, since a right-wing nationalist Japanese politician vowed to buy them from their private owners to solve the Diaoyu Islands dispute once for ever. When the Japanese government purchased the islands last week, Chinese people saw the purchase by Japanese government as an affront to its claim and as further proof of Tokyo’s refusal to negotiate over them.

Beijing made angry protests and tried to bolster its claim by briefly sending marine surveillance ships into what Japan says are its territorial waters around the islands. After warned by Japanese coast guards, the Chinese surveillance ships went away from the waters off Diaoyu Islands, which cause disappointment among Chinese public who think the government is too soft on Japan over the territory.

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Bernd Chang
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A resturant providing Japanese foods is closed with pro-China banners held up indoors for fear of being assaulted by anti-Japan protesters in Beijing Sunday September 16, 2012.

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A Chinese restaurant promotes its business through hanging up banners saying those shouting Diaoyu Islands belong to China will be offered 10% discount and shouting Japan belongs to China will be offered 20% discount.

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A protester looking like late Chinese leader Mao Zedong appears in the anti-Japan demonstration in Shangqiu City of Henan Province. Many Chinese think Mao Zedong was tougher against foreign invasion or humiliation.

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The red banner says: One billion Chinese youth form one billion soldier, national humiliation should not be wiped out by our descendants.

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The protesters convene in front of Japanese hotel in Guangzhou.

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Protesters hold up banner saying "Level Tokyo! Diaoyu Islands belong to China, Aoi Sora belongs to the world" in Wanzhou, Chongqing, September 16, 2012.

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Anti-Japan demonstration in Shenzhen, Guangdong, September 16, 2012. The banner: Demolish Japan by force! (Forced demolition of citizens' houses is a important cause of numerous unrests in China, this banner is likely to vent anger against Chinese government)

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Bernd Chang
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"Use made-in-Japan manufacturer to photograph the shamelessness of Japan"

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Bernd Chang
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"Boycott Japanese goods - do not watch Aoi Sora adult vedio from now on"

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Anti-Japan demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing, September 16, 2012. The banner: Diaoyu Islands belong to China! Little Japan get away!

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Bernd Chang
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Anti-Japan protest in Chengdu, capital city of southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sept. 16, 2012. The left banner: Little Japan, f**k your ancestors; right banner: Proclaim war against Japan and stamp Tokyo flat!

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Anti-Japan protest in Chengdu, Sept. 16, 2012.White banner: Japanese dogs, get out of China!

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Bernd Chang
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Young Chinese protesters hold portrait of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong with the caption "Chairman Mao, we miss you" against Japan in Shanghai, Sept. 16, 2012.

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Bernd Chang
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Protest against Japan in Chengdu, Sept. 16, 2012. The large banners: History: new and old outstanding accounts be paid once for all; Warmongers: Yoshihiko Noda and Shintaro Ishihara.

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Bernd Chang
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Demonstraters hold much milder slogans than their mainland compatriots in Hong Kong, Sept. 16, 2012. The banners: Diaoyu Islands belong to China.

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Bernd Chang
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Anti-Japan demonstrators hold banner saying "Japan get out of Diaoyu Islands", "Diaoyu Islands only belong to China", "Only Aoi Sora belongs to the world!" in Shenzhen, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Anti-Japan protests over its control of disputed Diaoyu islands (Sinkaku) spread across tens of cities in China Sunday, with protesters chanting patriotic slogans and calling to boycott Japanese goods.

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Bernd Chang
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Two anti-Japan protesters wearing red-guard uniform hold a board petitioning for a battle assignment against Japan in Changsha, September 16, 2012.

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Bernd Chang
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Anti-Japan demonstration in Shangqiu, Henan, Sept. 16, 2012. The banner: We should kill all Japanese even there are tombs all over China!

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Bernd Chang
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Protest against Japan in Shenzhen, Sept. 16, 2012. The banner: Level Japan with atom-bomb, eradicate future trouble of Chinese nation!

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Bernd Chang
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Protest against Japan in front of Japanese embassy in Beijing, Sept. 16, 2012. Banners: China rise up, Boycott Japanese goods, Stop supplying rare earth to Japan.

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