Anti-Japan protests spread to dozens of cities across China on Sept. 16, triggering acts of vandalism and violence--and even spilling over to a Chinese Communist Party facility.
The escalation in number of participants and disorder on the second straight day of protests is expected to continue to at least Sept. 18, the 81st anniversary of the bombing of Japan's South Manchurian Railway in Liutiaohu, which triggered the Manchurian Incident.
Many Japanese companies have suspended operations in China for a few days following reports of damage to production lines of Japanese manufacturers and expectations of further anti-Japan protests.
Thousands of demonstrators marched, chanted and in some cases attacked Japanese-related interests in China to protest Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyu Islands.
While almost all of the protests targeted Japan, one incident in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, involved demonstrators trying to push their way into a Communist Party facility. About 2,000 protesters clashed with armed police, and tear gas was fired into the crowd.
It was the first known case in which a party facility has been targeted in the recent series of protests.
In Beijing, about 10,000 protesters gathered in front of the Japanese Embassy in a rather orderly manner. The demonstrators were allowed to march in front of the embassy in groups of several hundred under the watch of about 1,000 armed police.
In Guangzhou, several thousand demonstrators entered the grounds of the hotel housing the Japanese Consulate General. Rock-throwing protesters smashed windows in the complex.
According to one post on the Internet in China, protests were held in about 80 cities on Sept. 16. It was also learned that Chinese workers on Sept. 15 damaged production lines at several plants operated by Japanese companies in the special economic zone of Zhuhai in Guangdong province.
One major Japanese company that decided to suspend operations was Canon Inc. On Sept. 16, the company decided to shut down its three main plants in China that produce cameras and other products on Sept. 17-18.
The Japanese School in Beijing, which has about 640 students, has also canceled classes for Sept. 17-18.
The departure of Chinese fishing vessels to the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea was called off on Sept. 16 due to an approaching typhoon, according to a report by China Central Television.
But an official with a fisheries cooperative in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, told The Asahi Shimbun that plans have been made to send about 1,000 fishing boats to waters near the Senkakus in conjunction with Fujian province.
Although the Fishing Bureau of China’s Agriculture Ministry had limited the number of fishing boats allowed to operate in those waters, authorities have informed fisheries cooperatives that patrol ships would protect the fishing vessels.
(This article was written by Kenji Minemura in Beijing and Kentaro Koyama in Shenzhen.)
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