Protests and other expressions of anger in China continue to highlight an ongoing dispute between China and its close economic partner Japan.
The feud stems from Japan’s purchase of three of the Senkaku islands, which are named the Diaoyu in China. Beijing claims sovereignty over the archipelago in the East China Sea.
Beijing was further upset by the visit of two Japanese activists to the islands, and demonstrators have made their disapproval plain in the streets of China’s capital.
“The unlawful landing of the Japanese right-wingers on the Chinese territory of the Diaoyu islands was a gravely provocative action violating Chinese territorial sovereignty,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the Washington Post.
In Beijing, thousands of people marched past the Japanese embassy. According to the New York Times, some threw stones at the compound.
In addition, a possible total of 1, 000 Chinese fishing vessels are headed toward the Senkaku.
“Why now is China saying ‘those islands actually belong to us?” asked Samantha Tablada, a student at Ryserson University, who also mentioned the relative lack of attention paid to the Senkaku earlier. “Why create extra conflict when there need not be?”
Tuesday was the 81st anniversary of Japan’s invasion and subsequent occupation of Manchuria in 1931, an event observed annually in China.