INTERNATIONAL

Anti-Japan protests spread to more Chinese cities

BEIJING: Ahead of the Japanese Foreign Minister's visit to Beijing, thousands of Chinese today staged demonstrations in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Tianjin against Japan's attempt to ``distort'' its wartime past. A ``spontaneous'' march was staged by college students in the eastern metropolis, Shanghai, as the marchers went along the main road from city centre to the Japanese consulate, carrying Chinese flags and anti-Japan banners. Protesters hurled rocks, bottles and paint at the consulate and attacked Japanese businesses.

Reports from Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang province said thousands of students and other residents staged protests. — PTI

P. S. Suryanarayana reports from Singapore:

Amid a surge in anti-Japan protests in China on Saturday, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura, said in Tokyo that he would travel to Beijing on Sunday for talks with his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, as planned.

Even as Tokyo lodged a protest with the Chinese authorities over the latest anti-Japan rallies in Shanghai, Mr. Machimura said it was "good" for both countries to talk to each other.

Noting, however, that "it is very regrettable" that anti-Japan rallies continued unabated in China, he said: "As we see damage to the Japanese consulate [in Shanghai], we cannot but say that the security system [to protect Japanese interests in China] is insufficient".

The Chinese State Councillor, Tang Jiaxuan, said "the two major issues" before China and Japan, "history and Taiwan" impinged on the "political basis" of Beijing-Tokyo engagement.

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