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Chinese protest Japan's purchase of uninhabited islands

Anti-Japan protesters hold printed Chinese characters, that reads
Anti-Japan protesters hold printed Chinese characters, that reads "Japan Get Out," to form a slogan "Japan Get Out of Diaoyu Islands" with other protesters outside Japanese Embassy in Beijing, China, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. Japan has decided to deport 14 Chinese activists who were arrested this week for landing without authorization on Diaoyu islands, known as islands of Senkaku in Japan, in the East China Sea. The uninhabited islands are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Alexander F. Yuan/AP

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Over the weekend, the largest anti-Japanese demonstrations in decades took place in China.

The cause? A chain of islands in the East China Sea, whose ownership is disputed between Japan and China.
The islands are uninhabited, but valued for oil reserves believed to be nearby; Japan recently bought the islands from their Japanese owners.

Chinese protested this weekend by vandalizing Japanese businesses and cars, and demonstrators pelted Tokyo's embassy in China with eggs and plastic bottles.

But experts on the region say the protests run much deeper than the islands.


Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica