Anti-Japan protests erupt in China
19 September, 2012
BEIJING: Tension is high in a China-Japan row as fresh anti-Japan protests erupt in China on Tuesday over disputed islands and on the anniversary of the ''Mukden incident''.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing with riot police lining the streets. On 18 September 1931, Japanese soldiers blew up a railway in Manchuria, blaming it on dissidents.
Known as the ''Mukden incident'', this was later revealed to be a pretext for the invasion of northeast China. Protesters outside the embassy on Tuesday chanted slogans and threw plastic bottles at the building.
It follows days of protests from the weekend targeting Japanese businesses. Many of them, including electronic companies Panasonic and Canon, have suspended operations. As tension heightens, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Beijing for talks with his counterpart and top Chinese leaders.
He did not mention the dispute, but called for closer military contact between the US and China. "Our goal is to have the United States and China establish the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and the key to that is to establish a strong military-to-military relationship," he said.
However, Panetta, who was in Tokyo on Monday, had earlier warned of the potential for the conflict to escalate and urged both sides to show restraint.