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Japanese take to the streets in island row

Japanese take to the streets in island row
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There was anger on the streets of Japan when it was estimated over 1,000 demonstrators rallied to protest against China’s claims to several disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Japan bought the three islands earlier this month from a private owner despite warnings from Beijing which sent two patrol ships to reassert its claim.

The diplomatic row has seen protests in China now for the first time Tokyo has felt the anger.

“I want our leaders to cease this cowardly diplomacy with China and become a government that can truly protect the people and property of Japan,” said protester Munenori Tamura.

Another, Yoshikazu Ishi, added: “The Japanese people are angry. That’s what I want people to realise. We are not here because we have been told by any group or anything. We’ve come because we’re exploding with anger.”

The protests highlight the cracks which have developed in relationships between Asia’s two biggest economies.

There was further evidence at one of the region’s largest travel and tourism fairs in Tokyo. China’s exhibition stand lay empty after it cancelled at the last minute.

Japan has been trying to boost its tourist trade with China since the earthquake last year. Many Chinese visitors have cancelled their plans in the light of the row over the islands.

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