September 18, known as the “Day of National Humiliation,” marks the anniversary of the “Mukden Incident” in 1931 which precipitated the Japanese invasion of northern China. With anti-Japanese sentiment in China already high from Japan’s planned purchase of the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands, protesters again took to the streets in force on Tuesday. But according to reports, authorities took stronger measures to prevent violence and looting than on previous days. From the New York Times:
The protests were large and sometimes angry, but appeared much better controlled than those over the weekend, which included extensive rioting and vandalism. Many Japanese businesses closed for the day, and a strong police presence seemed to prevent damage.
The Japanese companies that closed included the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, which is Japanese-owned in China. The company said it would reopen Wednesday. Several other large companies, including Mitsubishi and Canon, gave their employees the day off.
Despite the calls for peaceful protests, scattered violence was reported. The Italian consul’s car in Guangzhou was attacked, according to diplomatic sources who asked to remain anonymous.
The same New York Times report describes the scene at the protest at the Japanese embassy in Beijing:
As the day progressed, crowds threw rocks and water bottles at the well-guarded embassy compound. Some of the banners were crude, with sexual undertones that might have reflected the Japanese military’s brutal wartime treatment of Chinese, including the systematic rape of Chinese women during its 14-year invasion and occupation of parts of the country. One banner showed a Chinese soldier castrating a Japanese soldier, while a popular image depicted Japan’s national flag as a white sanitary napkin with a spot of blood in the middle.
CNN reports that several Japanese manufacturers have temporarily closed operations in China during the protests:
Rowdy demonstrations also took
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