China Allows Rowdy Anti-Japanese Protests

over the weekend in Chinese cities are again causing tensions to flare between the two countries. From AP:

Chinese authorities have allowed rowdy anti-Japanese demonstrations in several cities to defuse simmering public anger over a territorial dispute with Japan and to prevent the frustrations from being turned against the Chinese regime itself, analysts said Monday.

Thousands of Chinese joined in sometimes violent protests Saturday, hoisting signs protesting Japan’s claim on what China calls the . Japan calls them the Senkaku islands.

On Monday, dozens of young men scuffled with police who were trying to contain protesters in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, news photographs showed. Hundreds of youth — mostly young men — marched with flags and signs, some of which called for a boycott of Japanese goods.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday that the protests were “regrettable.” He said Japan asked China to ensure the safety and security of Japanese citizens and companies in China, and that the two countries must work “calmly” to improve ties.

The Japanese government has called on China’s leaders to end the protests and has said they threaten a reconciliation meeting planned for next month. Yomiuri Daily reports:

Depending on future developments concerning the rallies and Chinese public opinion on the Internet, the Hu administration’s plan to officially mend ties with Japan next month may not come to be.

The Chinese government intended for Hu to personally demonstrate improved ties with Japan when he attends a summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Yokohama in mid-November.

On Oct. 4, the Hu administration released the last of four employees of general contractor Fujita Corp. who had been detained in China, after talks between Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Brussels.

China also partially resumed government and private-sector exchange programs, and allowed the visit of a Japanese youth mission that had been postponed.

But Beijing’s moves toward reconciliation are still timid.

Depending on future developments concerning the rallies and Chinese public opinion on the Internet, the Hu administration’s plan to officially mend ties with Japan next month may not come to be.

The Chinese government intended for Hu to personally demonstrate improved ties with Japan when he attends a summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Yokohama in mid-November.

On Oct. 4, the Hu administration released the last of four employees of general contractor Fujita Corp. who had been detained in China, after talks between Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Brussels.

China also partially resumed government and private-sector exchange programs, and allowed the visit of a Japanese youth mission that had been postponed.

But Beijing’s moves toward reconciliation are still timid.

October 18, 2010 12:12 PM
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