Shoichi Nakagawa, minister of economy, trade and industry, blasted China on Tuesday for offering no apology or compensation for violence and damage caused by participants in recent anti-Japan protests, saying he doubts whether the country is truly governed by rule of law.

“In the 21st century, people are expected to offer an apology and compensation if they damage other people’s property,” Nakagawa said. “We cannot call a state governed by the law if its people believe they can do whatever they want for the sake of patriotism.”

Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura called for the apology and compensation at his meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on Sunday and Monday. Neither accepted his request.

The economy minister said that if vandalism by anti-Japan demonstrators continues, China might lose its credibility in the international community as a country governed by law or a market economy under the World Trade Organization.

Nakagawa indicated that underlying factors to the anti-Japan demonstrations, including China’s complaints over Japan’s perception of history, are no excuse for violent acts.

“If China does not provide security for Japanese people and establishments, we have to take measures,” the minister said, without elaborating.

Shanghai recompense

SHANGHAI (Kyodo) Local authorities in Shanghai have expressed readiness to pay damages to Japanese restaurants that were attacked by demonstrators in a massive anti-Japan protest in the major commercial city, the Japanese Consulate General said Monday.

Thousands of Chinese marched on the consulate Saturday, hurling bottles and other objects as they accused Japan of distorting its wartime aggression against China and calling for a boycott of Japanese goods.

Protesters vandalized three Japanese-style restaurants before breaking at least nine windows at the consulate. They also broke the cash register at a Japanese “shabu shabu” restaurant in Shanghai’s prime shopping district.

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