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Anti-Japan protests spread across China, the worst unrest in decades

PM Noda calls on Beijing to protect Japanese nationals and companies

Published on Sep 17, 2012 6:00 AM
Chinese demonstrators carrying anti-Japan banners and shouting slogans during a protest in Chongqing on Sunday. Tens of thousands of people protested in as many as 50 Chinese cities, with some protesters scuffling with police, attacking Japanese cars and torching Japanese-run factories. -- PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BEIJING - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda urged Beijing on Sunday to protect Japanese nationals, companies and diplomatic buildings from attack as rowdy anti-Japan protests erupted in cities across China in one of the worst outbreaks in years.

Tens of thousands of protesters in as many as 50 Chinese cities, including Hong Kong, took to the streets at the weekend to vent their fury after Japan moved to nationalise a group of disputed islands which it calls Senkaku, and which China claims and names as the Diaoyu Islands.

Protesters scuffled with police and attacked Japanese cars. Some Japanese factories were torched, and there was some looting in what some Japanese media described as the worst unrest seen in four decades since the countries normalised ties in 1972.

In southern Shenzhen city, the police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the huge crowds.

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