HONG KONG – About 40 people took part in a protest march Sunday in Hong Kong to condemn Japan’s effective nationalization last year of the disputed Senkaku Islands, claimed by China and Taiwan, and its 1931 invasion of northeast China.
“We feel a bit disappointed about the number of participants,” said Lo Chau, chairman of the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, as the disputed territory is known in China. Taiwan calls the isles Tiaoyutai.
Lo, whose group organized the march, said that along the route, some people even criticized the demonstrators for disrupting their normal routine.
“It is sad when a nation loses its sense of danger,” he said.
He criticized the Hong Kong government for not properly educating young people about Japan’s history of militarism and aggression, blaming that for the indifference shown by young people in Hong Kong these days.
The group’s earlier call for simultaneous protests to be held outside Japanese consulates in mainland China cities went unheeded.
Last year, huge anti-Japanese protests were held across China to protest the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands, but no protests on that scale have been held this year.
Sunday’s protest caught the attention of dozens of curious passersby in Causeway Bay, a shopping mecca for residents and tourists, including a few tourists from the mainland who donated money to the group. None joined the march.