GUANGZHOU, China – Some 30,000 anti-Japanese demonstrators took to the streets in two southern Chinese cities on Sunday, just a day after thousands of protesters damaged the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.
According to Japanese officials, more than 3,000 demonstrators encircled the hotel housing the Japanese Consulate General in the city of Guangzhou.
Holding banners and chanting anti-Japanese slogans denouncing Tokyo’s bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the protesters marched from a square in the center of the province’s capital to the Japanese consulate, consular officials said.
Some hurled plastic bottles and other objects at the building, breaking the windows of a Japanese restaurant, they said.
About 1,000 police officers were mobilized to secure the hotel, and the crowd dispersed after submitting a letter protesting Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where Class-A war criminals are honored among Japan’s war dead, to Japanese officials.
But many just moved down to a nearby shopping mall that houses a Jusco supermarket run by major Japanese retailer Aeon Co. and started throwing objects at advertisements for Japanese products.
Witnesses said there were about 20,000 people milling about the supermarket at one point before it was cordoned off by police.
A similar scene unfolded in Shenzhen, another city in the province just north of Hong Kong where about 10,000 demonstrators surrounded a commercial building housing a Jusco supermarket, according to the Japanese consulate in Guangzhou.
The large protests followed a noisy rally in Beijing on Saturday in which some 10,000 to 20,000 demonstrators took to the streets, some yelling slogans, others throwing rocks and bottles at Japanese businesses, the embassy and the residence of the Japanese ambassador.
According to a Hong Kong radio station, protesters in Guangzhou destroyed a car parked in front of another Japanese restaurant and threw eggs at the establishment.
In another development, the Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai said two Japanese students were injured when they were hit with a beer mug and an ashtray at an eatery in Shanghai on Saturday night. Both were treated at a local hospital and released, consular officials said.
The officials said the two were attacked after identifying themselves as Japanese shortly after entering the restaurant as part of a group of foreign students. There were four Japanese in the group.
There have been no major anti-Japanese protests yet in Shanghai.
But consulate officials said the front of a notice board in front of the official residence of the Japanese consul general in Shanghai was shattered Sunday morning.
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