China urges order as anti-Japan protest flares

Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:30am GMT

By K.J. Kwon

CHONGQING, China (Reuters) - China's top internal security official urged people to stay within the law in voicing patriotism, as a fresh protest against Japan flared on Tuesday following one that turned against the Beijing government.

Ties between China and Japan, the two biggest Asian economies, tumbled last month after the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain by the Japanese coast guard after their boats collided near disputed islands in East China Sea.

Zhou Yongkang, the ruling Communist Party's top law-and-order official, made the remarks in a Monday meeting after weekend protests against Japan in two inland Chinese cities, Lanzhou and Baoji, each drew hundreds of demonstrators.

"We must strengthen propaganda and opinion work to guide the public to voice its patriotic aspirations in a rational and orderly way according to the law, protecting social and political stability," Zhou told officials, according to the People's Daily, the main paper of the ruling party.

A fresh protest broke out in Chongqing Tuesday, when about 500 demonstrators crowded outside the building housing the Japanese consulate for the southwest riverside city.

The students and young people held up red Chinese flags and placards demanding that Tokyo abandon claims to islands in the East China Sea that China claims as the Diaoyu islands while Japan call them the Senkaku.

"The Diaoyu Islands belong to China," some yelled as police officers kept a careful distance. "Down with Japanese devils, boycott Japanese goods," stated one banner.

The protesters have demanded a tougher line against Tokyo, following similar demonstrations by thousands of Chinese and Japanese last week that focussed on claims to islands in the East China Sea claimed by both nations.   Continued...

<p>Protesters holding a banner, march toward the Japanese consulate general's office during an anti-Japan demonstration in Chongqing municipality, October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Kyodo</p>
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