China `concerned` over Japan island row protest
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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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