Hundreds Protest at Japanese Embassy in Beijing
Hundreds of people protested in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday amid rising tensions over disputed East China Sea islands as police struggled to quell the angry demonstration.
The protests were held after the Japanese government earlier this week announced the completion of its purchase of the islands, which it administers and calls Senkaku, but which China claims and calls Diaoyu.
Six Chinese ships sailed into waters around the archipelago Friday, with Beijing saying they were there for “law enforcement”, leading Tokyo to summon the Chinese ambassador to protest what it insisted was an incursion into its territory.
An AFP photographer saw objects being thrown outside the embassy as police attempted to hold back angry crowds. Roads were cordoned off and a helicopter hovered overhead monitoring the protest.
Demonstrators have staged protests in front of the embassy for most of the week. On Thursday, hundreds sang the Chinese national anthem and waved flags to condemn Tokyo’s purchase of the disputed island chain.
China and Japan are Asia’s two biggest economies with close trade and business ties. The political relationship, however, is often tense due to the territorial dispute and Chinese resentment over historical issues.
A Japanese diplomat told AFP on Friday that Tokyo had issued a safety warning to its citizens in China after six “serious” cases of assault and harassment.