Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in eastern China to voice their anger at Japan's claims to the disputed islands in the East China Sea. Demonstrators gathered in the eastern city of Rizhao, in Shandong Province, and marched towards the city government office, Xinhua reported on Friday. The protesters carried banners that read "Safeguard the motherland's territorial integrity" and "Japanese get out of the Diaoyu Islands", the report added.
On August 18, 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. The move sparked protests in several cities across China including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Harbin, and Qingdao. Japan also sent back on August 17, 14 Chinese activists, who had sailed to the disputed Islands from Hong Kong. The detainees, who were activists from the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, said 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 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. TNP/JR