China made representations to Japan over the "illegal landing" of Japanese right-wing activists on the Diaoyu Islands on Tuesday, saying that it is a serious provocation that infringes on China's territorial sovereignty. This Tuesday was also the 81st anniversary of Japan's invasion of China, making the day especially sensitive.
Two Japanese activists arrived on the Diaoyu Islands in a small boat Tuesday morning and swam to the island, and they returned to their boat shortly afterward, according to reports.
The foreign ministry demanded Japan explain its endorsement of right-wing activities, and urged Tokyo to take effective measures and stop any acts that may intensify tensions over the islets.
Liu Jiangyong, a vice dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times that by choosing to land on the Diaoyu Islands on Tuesday, the Japanese activists may have been trying to irritate Chinese people's sentiments.
In many cities across the country, people took to the street to voice their opposition against the Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands from a "private owner."
Outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing, more than 1,000 protesters faced off against riot police six rows deep. Some threw eggs and plastic bottles at the building and a few scuffles broke out with officers at the gate of the compound.
Japan-based news portal ribenxinwen.com reported that three arrests had been made, but the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau did not reply to the Global Times inquiry as of press time.