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Beijing allows anti-Japanese sentiment to flare in China amid massive protests

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the protests “regrettable,” while the Chinese Foreign Ministry described the anti-Japanese sentiment as “understandable.”

While just last month the Chinese government seemed keen not to allow anti-Japanese protesters to stir the pot, on Saturday thousands of people gathered in multiple cities throughout China to protest Japan’s claim over the island chain in the East China Sea, with mobs at times turning violent. Protesters vandalized Japanese businesses and smashed the windows of Japanese-brand cars, according to local media reports. One woman in Chengdu was eating at a restaurant along the demonstration route when marchers mistook her dress for a kimono, consequently demanding that she strip out of her clothes, according to the Associated Press.

The protests continued Sunday in Mianyang, near Chengdu, according to the International Business Times. On Monday, The Straits Times also reported an additional 1,000 people had gathered to chant anti-Japanese slogans in Wuhan, Hebei province.

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