China `concerned` over Japan island row protest

Last Updated: Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 21:13

Beijing: Beijing expressed "deep concern"
today at anti-China protests by Japanese nationalists over a
diplomatic spat centred on a group of disputed islands, the
state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The comment carried in a brief dispatch followed
tit-for-tat demonstrations in China and Japan today over the
row that broke out last month when Japan detained a Chinese
fishing boat captain near the islands in the East China Sea.

Japanese nationalist groups rallied in central Tokyo
against China`s "invasion" of the islands and delivered a
protest note to the Chinese embassy, while thousands
demonstrated against Japan in three Chinese cities.

The protests came despite moves by the two Asian
giants to patch up the row.

In Tokyo, Japanese flags fluttered in a park as more
than 1,000 people gathered for the second major rally since
the maritime incident.

Banners carried such messages as "Japan is in danger!"
and "Don`t forgive invader China".

As demonstrators left the park and started a march,
two young men, believed to be Chinese, sat in the street to
stop the rally.

One of their banners read: "Stop fuelling harassment
towards Chinese residents in Japan".

The two scuffled with Japanese nationalists and were
dragged away by police officers. They were immediately
released, according to police.

At the start of the rally, Asako Ogura, a lawyer who
belongs to the conservative Sunrise Party, drew large cheers
as she took up a microphone to claim China had been ungrateful
to Japan.

"We Japanese have long extended official development
assistance by using taxpayers` money, and the Chinese economy
has grown to surpass the Japanese.

"But China used its economic power to build up its
military and now demands we hand over Senkaku and Okinawa on
the back of the military power," she said.

"Our fathers and mothers boldly fought Western powers
60 years ago. Now let`s fight the Chinese communists and their
puppet government led by the Democratic Party of Japan!"

The rally continued to the Chinese embassy, where
demonstrators delivered a protest statement, organisers said.

They estimated the crowd at more than 3,200 people, and said
Internet broadcasts of the event drew 10,000 viewers.

At the centre of the dispute -- the most bitter row in
years between Asia`s two biggest economies -- is a chain of
uninhabited islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in
Chinese.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 21:13

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