Tens — possibly hundreds — of thousands of protestors gathered today in some 30 cities across China against the Japanese nationalisation of control over the disputed Diaoyu / Senkaku Islands.
In Beijing, security was tight, with hundreds of police and paramilitary officers deployed to the Japanese Embassy to prevent things from getting out of control. Outside the building, protestors hurled rocks, eggs and bottles, and burned Japanese flags as they chanted slogans against Japanese imperialism. At one point, the throng tried to storm through barricades, but they were largely held back by police.
In other cities, reports and pictures circulated online of Japanese cars getting overturned, and Japanese restaurants and shops getting smashed.
In Changsha, Hunan province, emotions boiled over as rioters plundered the Japanese department store Heiwado before setting it on fire, sending a huge plume of smoke into the skies. Further south, Heiwado’s department store in Shenzhen was also reportedly broken into and set on fire.
The evening before, marauding bands of mostly young, male rioters looted several 7-11 and Family Mart convenience stores located downtown Chengdu in Sichuan province. (Editor’s Note: 7-11 was established in Dallas, Texas but a Japanese company gained a controlling stake in the company in 1991.)
Thousands more participated in anti-Japan marches conducted in Chongqing and Qingdao. The Jusco supermarket in Qingdao was also looted.
Below, watch videos of the anti-Japan protests around China.
In Changsha, protestors overturn, smash and stomp on a Japanese car:
In Changsha, protestors storm into Heiwado, a Japanese department store.
In Dali, Yunnan:
In Cangzhou, Hebei: