China Protests Damage Japanese Businesses

Territorial dispute leads to demonstrations in a dozen Chinese cities.

China’s state media warned people to avoid violence and a Chinese city outlawed “illegal” protests in some areas as anger over a territorial dispute prompted attacks on Japanese companies and demands from Tokyo that its citizens be protected.

On a trip to Tokyo today, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the he was “very concerned” after demonstrators took to the streets yesterday in a dozen cities across China in the biggest protests since 2005, and urged the two sides to resolve the dispute via diplomacy. In Shenzhen, police used tear gas and water cannons to stop protesters from reaching a Japanese department store, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.

‘Illegal’ Protests

The northern Chinese city of Xian will ban “illegal” protests in some areas of the city, according to a statement on the local public security bureau’s website. Any vandalism justified by “national interest” won’t be allowed, it said.

‘More Arrogant’

“Japan is becoming more and more arrogant and the feelings of Chinese are increasingly being oppressed,” said Xiao Feng, 26, an office worker protesting at the Japanese consulate in Shanghai yesterday after traveling to the city from Jiangxi province. “We need to step up and make our feelings known that they can’t just have their way.”

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