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19 Aug, 2012 09:23

Chinese protest Japanese claim to disputed island

Thousands of people protested in the streets of China and Hong Kong against Japan’s claim to a contested island territory.

The protesters are rallying against recent actions by some 150 Japanese activists, who on Sunday raised their country’s flag on the disputed Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diyaou and claims to be Chinese territory.The Japanese activists made their display after the country detained and deported 14 Chinese and Hong Kong activists visiting the island days earlier, Kyodo news agency reported.In two southern Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Guangzhou, 3,000 demonstrators were witnessed shouting anti-Japanese slogans and burning the country’s flag. Some also attacked Japanese restaurants and cars, Interfax reported.One Shenzen demonstrator told AFP that protesters were headed towards a train station on the border with Hong Kong. "The demonstration is strung out for seven to eight kilometers. Many police are escorting us along the street," he said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the Japanese government on Saturday over the recent tension.The territory has been disputed since the 1970s, when the island was discovered to hold vast oil deposits, but hostilities in the feud have spiked in recent days.