Chinese demonstrators have taken to streets to protest Japanese nationalists’ landing and planting Japan’s flag on an island, among a series of such territories, claimed by both countries. Protestors in at least six cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Harbin, and Qingdao, took to the streets on Sunday to show their anger at the move. Over a hundred protestors gathered near the consulate-general of Japan in Guangzhou, holding Chinese flags and chanting "Japan get out of the Diaoyu Islands." In nearby Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, demonstrators also gathered at an outdoor plaza, waving Chinese flags and shouting slogans. Zhang Pei, one participant, said protesters were marching towards the train station on the border with Hong Kong. "The demonstration is strung out for seven to eight kilometers (four to five miles). Many police are escorting us along the street."
On Saturday, a flotilla of boats, carrying Japanese nationalists and lawmakers, set sail for the archipelago, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoya in China.The nationalists raised Japanese flags on Uotsurijima just days after Tokyo sent pro-Beijing protesters who had landed on the island back to China. China had warned against acts "harming" its territorial sovereignty. "I want to show the international community that these islands are ours. It is Japan's future at stake," Kenichi Kojima, a Japanese politician, has said.
On Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry demanded in a statement that Japan "immediately cease actions harming its territorial sovereignty.""China has made solemn representations to Japan, demanding that it immediately cease actions harming China's territorial sovereignty," the statement read. It added that "China reiterates that any unilateral actions, taken by Japan regarding" the islands, "are illegal and invalid." On Friday, Japan sent back 14 Chinese activists, who had sailed to the disputed Islands from Hong Kong. The detainees, who are activists from the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, say their move was aimed at countering the plan of Japanese lawmakers to visit the disputed islands. Japan's coastguard said that five activists were detained when they landed on one of the islands on Wednesday and the nine others were later arrested on their boat. The five were the first non-Japanese to set foot on the archipelago in eight years. The chain of five uninhabited Islands are located in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Okinawa. Japan currently controls the territories. YH/HN