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Japan to ask China to pay for protest damage to diplomatic missions

Published on Sep 20, 2012 3:25 PM
This still image taken on Sept 19, 2012 from video posted online by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei shows protesters blocking a car carrying US Ambassador to China Gary Locke as Chinese police try to hold them back outside the US embassy in Beijing. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo will ask Beijing to pay for damage caused to its diplomatic missions during sometimes violent anti-Japanese protests over disputed islands, the government said on Thursday. The announcement came as authorities in China appeared to be tamping down public anger, banning demonstrations even as leaders kept up the rhetoric.

"Regarding damage to our embassies and consulates, we plan to demand compensation (from China) as it is an issue between the governments," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters in Tokyo.

Mr Fujimura said any damage to property owned by Japanese businesses in China should be handled there under domestic law. But in a conciliatory note, Mr Fujimura said Tokyo would reach out to China.

"The prime minister is considering sending a special envoy as part of our government's efforts in seeking to resolve the issue cool-headedly through various diplomatic routes," he said. "But at this point, no specifics such as who would be appointed or how we would send the person is decided yet."

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