Tokyo: Hundreds of Japanese marched through downtown Tokyo on Saturday in a loud but tightly controlled protest against China`s claim to disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The protest, organised by the nationalist group "Ganbare Nippon," or "Go for It, Japan," followed scores of sometimes violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in China in recent weeks.
Though hundreds of Japanese protesters gathered in a downtown park and then marched through the glitzy Roppongi district, authorities only allowed small groups of five people each to visit the sidewalk opposite the Chinese Embassy.
"Come on out of there!" some of the protesters screamed at the well-guarded embassy building, which was closed. Dozens of police kept order, moving the groups away from the embassy after only a few minutes.
In the past few days, Chinese authorities appear to have reined in angry anti-Japanese demonstrations that they had been allowing in recent weeks.
After Japan`s government purchased some of the islands, claimed by both sides but controlled by Tokyo, from their private Japanese owners last week, the protests intensified and Beijing sent surveillance ships into waters near the islands.
The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, have long been a lightning rod for simmering Chinese resentment toward Japan for its brutal invasion and occupation of parts of China in the first half of the 20th century.