Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Japan’s “illegal purchase” of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands was having increasingly, and wide-ranging negative effects. He further added that Japan should be held responsible for the vandalism damage its own companies sustained over the violent protest-filled weekend. That is some pretty rock-solid logic right there, and just incase you’re still confused about who is to blame for Chinese protesters dragging one of their own countrymen out of his car and beating him, just because said car was a Toyota, Hong says that any more escalated tensions will be a result of how Japan acts.
While disputed islands were already under Japanese control before the purchase took place, China has maintained its claim of rightful ownership and made several threats about taking action to defend its sovereignty. Hong says that the protests in China over the last week are clear evidence that the Chinese people are opposed to the Japanese position. Hong’s comments, along with Beijing’s lack of restraint over the demonstrations, give the impression that the Chinese government have given an unspoken approval of the anti-Japanese sentiment.
Many of the protests on Saturday and Sunday turned violent, with armed police erecting barriers around the Japanese embassies, and many acts of vandalism against Japanese property and businesses. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda voiced his disappointment in the way China was unable to handle things in a calm manner, as well as protested that the Chinese government ensure the safety of Japanese citizens residing in the country. Roughly 1,000 Chinese fishing boats set sail on Monday for the waters surrounding the disputed territory in what is believed to be in memory of Tuesday being the 81st anniversary of the Japanese Imperial Army’s 1931 invasion of Manchuria.[via Nikkei]