Fresh anti-China rally held in Japan

Protesters carried banners accusing Prime Minister of "weak-kneed diplomacy".

Tokyo: Anti-China protesters rallied in western Japan on Saturday, the latest in a series of demonstrations against Beijing`s claim to a disputed island chain that has been at the centre of a diplomatic row.

About 300 people gathered in the city of Takamatsu, 600 kilometres (370 miles) west of Tokyo, organisers said, marching through a shopping street waving "Rising Sun" national flags.

"We need to raise our grass root voice," Hisano Fujisawa, a housewife at the rally, said by phone. "We have fears that China has already been trying to intrude Japanese territory."

Protesters carried banners accusing Prime Minister Naoto Kan of "weak-kneed diplomacy" and placards asserting Japan`s claim to the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

A spokesman for the North Takamatsu Police Department said he could not confirm the number of participants immediately, saying there were no arrests during the demonstration.

Asia`s two biggest economies -- traditional rivals -- have been embroiled in the worst feud in years since Japan arrested a Chinese trawler captain near the disputed islands almost six weeks ago, although he was later released.

In China, thousands of mostly young protesters have taken to the streets of several cities to demonstrate against Japan.

Kan held a brief meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Brussels early this month and officials in Tokyo say both countries are seeking to arrange a formal summit in later October.


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