TOKYO (TR) – An estimated 800 Japanese nationalists rallied in downtown Tokyo Saturday to protest Chinese actions in the escalating dispute over a chain of islands in the East China Sea, Agence France-Presse reported.
The demonstrators, waving flags and shouting slogans near the Chinese embassy, denounced what they called military threats coming from China, vowing they would never “give in,” according to AFP. They also criticized violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in China last week that saw Japanese factories and shops vandalized across the nation, forcing some to suspend operations.
“We get excited sometimes, but we don’t loot shops like those in China,” AFP cited one 21-year-old Japanese protestor wearing camouflage as saying.
The long simmering dispute over the small archipelago Japan calls the Senkaku Islands and China refers to as Diaoyu flared in August after a Chinese activist landed on one of the islets which are administered by Tokyo. The Japanese government purchased three of the five Islands from their private owner earlier this month, further exacerbating the already tense situation, and sparking the Chinese protests.
The Japanese coastguard is currently monitoring seven ships Beijing dispatched last week to waters near the islands, AFP said, citing coastguard officials.