Anti-Japan protests swept across China on Sunday, after Japanese activists landed on the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and unfurled Japanese flags just days after Japan detained a group of activists from Hong Kong for attempting to similarly assert China’s sovereignty on the disputed territory. From The New York Times:
The Chinese state news media portrayed the demonstrations as fairly small, each involving fewer than 200 people, and not extending to inland provinces. But photographs posted on Sina Weibo, the country’s most widely used microblogging service, suggested that the crowds had been far larger. In one photo said to be from the southwestern city of Chengdu, deep in China’s interior, the number of protesters appeared to be tens of thousands.
“Defend the Diaoyu Islands to the death,” one banner said. Another said, “Even if China is covered with graves, we must kill all Japanese.”
Another photograph showed a handwritten sign taped to the entrance of Suning, a popular electronics store, telling customers it was no longer selling Japanese products.
Some protests appear to have turned violent. According to several postings, demonstrators on Sunday attacked sushi restaurants or other businesses perceived to have a Japanese connection. Several photographs said to be from Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, showed what appeared to be damaged or overturned cars — most of them Japanese models — as well as several police vehicles.
Tensions on the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands in Japanese) have escalated since April, when the governor of Tokyo announced plans for the city to purchase them. Despite warnings from Chinese state media telling the Japanese not to interfere with the boat from Hong Kong, the Japanese Coast Guard detained 14 of the activists before allowing them to return to Hong Kong on Saturday. The China Daily then reported
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