Tokyo: About 4,000 anti-China protesters
rallied in Tokyo on Saturday, with their anger fuelled by a video
capturing a collision between Chinese and Japanese vessels
which sparked a diplomatic spat.
Brandishing imperialist "Rising Sun" flags, the
demonstrators gathered at an open air concert hall in the
centre of the capital, a chorus of Japan`s national anthem
serving as an opening ceremony.
It was the latest in a series of demonstrations
against Beijing`s claim to a disputed island chain in the East
China Sea, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
There have also been several anti-Japan rallies in China.
"Watching the video, I`m convinced that it was an act
of terrorism," said Masumi Yokuni, a 30-year-old housewife
wearing a traditional Japanese kimono.
"We have to take action against anyone who is trying
to grab our territory," she said at the open air venue, where
organisers repeatedly showed footage of the collision on a TV.
Participants then marched through the capital`s
business and shopping districts near the Imperial Palace, but
there were no immediate reports of arrests or any major
confusion, police said.
The video was leaked on YouTube yesterday. It had not
been officially released to the public for fear it would
worsen the spat.
Japanese authorities have confirmed that the leaked
video footage is identical to what the Japan Coast Guard
recorded during the incident, the evening edition of the
Yomiuri Shimbun reported today.
In a bid to trace the source of the leak coastguard
officials have begun to question the employees responsible for
editing and storing the footage, Kyodo news agency reported.
The Japanese coastguard arrested the Chinese trawler
captain in September for allegedly ramming two of patrol boats
near the disputed island chain, sparking a barrage of protests
In Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman has
again put the blame on Japan for the maritime incident,
saying: "The so-called video cannot change the fact and cannot
conceal the unlawfulness of the Japanese action."
The latest demonstration comes ahead of an expected
visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Japan to attend this
year`s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, being
held in Yokohama near Tokyo.