Protests in China after Japanese land on disputed islands

Protests broke out in at least six Chinese cities on Sunday after Japanese nationalists raised Japan`s flag on an island claimed by both countries.

Updated: Aug 19, 2012, 15:56 PM IST

Beijing: Protests broke out in at least six Chinese cities on Sunday after Japanese nationalists raised Japan`s flag on an island claimed by both countries.

A number of Chinese cities witnessed protest demonstrations denouncing Japanese landing on the Diaoyu islands called by Japanese as Senkaku islands, state media reported.

People in a number of Chinese cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Harbin, Jinan, Qingdao and Taiyuan, took to the street to voice their opposition to Japanese activists` landing on the Islands, the report said.

The protesters holding Chinese national flags and banners reading, "Defend China`s territory over the Diaoyu Islands," shouted slogans like "Japan, get out of the Diaoyu Islands!"

The protest followed reports from Tokyo that 10 Japanese nationalist activists landed on the islands with their national flags.

Japanese politician Eiji Kosaka, one of the men who made it to the island, said the group had planted Japanese flags on a hillside and on the shore.

They reached the islands in a flotilla of boats carrying about 150 people. The uninhabited islands are currently under the control of Japan and the Japanese Coast Guard has reportedly permitted them to stay there for few hours.

Official media here termed Japan as "fickle country" with "disgraceful history".

The action by Japanese activists followed a landing on the disputed islands by a 14 member group of Hong Kong based Chinese activists two days ago. They were arrested and deported by Japanese police.

China officially lodged protest with Japan for Japanese groups landing on the island asserting that it is a violation of its territory.

"The landing on China`s Diaoyu Islands by a pack of Japanese rightists was the latest of a series of provocations that flagrantly infringed Chinese sovereignty," a commentary in state-run Xinhua said.

"The move, under the so-called excuse of `mourning war dead in World War II`, blatantly harmed the long-standing and hard-won China-Japanese ties and hijacked the public opinion in Japan," Xinhua said.

"It is illegal for them to step onto the Chinese islands without approval. It actually was even not approved by the Japanese government," it said.

"There is ample historical evidence to show that the Diaoyu Islands have been Chinese territory since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)."

A commentary by the Communist Party of China’s official organ, the People`s Daily said "Japan is a fickle country and it is incapable to walk out of the shadow of an aggressive war. It has continually initiated trouble on historical and realistic problems".

"Having a disgraceful history and wrong politics, the country will always have a stain in the international community. Therefore, the country cannot become dignified despite having an advanced economy and powerful patron," it said.

"What consequences will a country produce if it gets extremely bigoted and fearless? The historical lessons should not be forgotten," it said.