By Xiaofeng Shi
Anti-Japan protests have erupted across China after a Japanese right-wing activist group landed on a group of uninhabited islands known as Diaoyu Islands to China and Senkaku Islands to Japan.
Thousands of furious protesters took to the streets in major Chinese cities, wrecking
Chinese-made Japanese-branded cars and slamming windows at Japanese-owned businesses.
The southern city of Shenzhen witnessed the largest flare-up of anti-Japan sentiment, which exploded into grisly violence, with protesters overturning Japanese cars, damaging Japanese restaurants and burning Japanese flags. Smaller protests also took place elsewhere, from Lanzhou in the northwest to Chengdu in central China. In Beijing, a large crowd of protesters gathered outside the Japanese Embassy in a demonstration that appeared to have the tacit approval of the local government.
The disputed territory is currently under the Japanese control. Some 150 Japanese campaigners, including dozens of conservative lawmakers, raised their flags on the East China Sea archipelago over the weekend, despite warnings from Beijing.
The East China Sea contains untapped deposits of shale gas and vast fisheries and tensions in the Chinese-Japanese relationship has escalated to a fever pitch because of the dispute.
While China claims the islands have been Chinese sovereign territory for hundreds of years, Japan has controlled five main islands of the uninhabited islets for more than 100 years, and considered a plan to “buy” them from private landowners.