Estimates of the number of protesters range from “over 3,200” (media) to 5,000-6,000 (police and participants) – the procession marched to the Chinese Embassy in central Tokyo’s Minato ward, where they “surrounded” the embassy as planned.
The international press apparently cannot resist any opportunity to photograph random Japanese crossdressers any time they are seen at a public event:
“Punish Tibet’s Hitler”
Japanese police did their best to suppress the demonstration – reportedly demonstrators were only allowed to approach within 100m of the embassy perimeter 5 at a time, and megaphones were banned.
Staff at the embassy report tensions to be extreme and their guard to be heightened, with the embassy having been sent an envelope containing rifle bullets earlier in the month during the run up to the demonstration.
Several Chinese residents of Japan actually attempted to violently block the demonstration with placards accusing the demonstrations of fomenting discrimination against Chinese living in Japan (apparently ignoring their own government’s role in this, in the best of Chinese traditions) – police arrested them but later released them without charge, of course:
No arrests or disorder was reported in connection with the Japanese demonstrators.
Meanwhile the Japanese media’s refusal to acknowledge the demonstrations has reached surreal levels – the Japanese mass media is reporting on Chinese anti-Japanese demonstrations made in response to the embassy demonstration as a top story, whilst refusing to actually report on the demonstration in Japan itself.
Japan’s top leftist rag Asahi and their national broadcaster NHK initially even reported on a mob of 1,000 (10,000 by some reports) Chinese attacking a Japanese supermarket in Sichuan whilst failing to mention (let alone report directly) that the protests erupted in direct response to 3,000 Japanese demonstrating in Japan’s own capital.
A few sources in the Japanese media have actually begun to mention the demonstration – mainly as the cause of the counter-demonstrations in China.
Confronted over their refusal to report on the last set of demonstrations, media companies either refused to comment or rather improbably claimed they “weren’t told” about the demonstrations, in spite of the fact that even foreign journalists apparently managed to find out about them.
Mobs of angry Chinese formed after the news of the planned demonstration was circulated widely over the Chinese Internet the day before – however, Chinese reports widely (and presumably deliberately) mistranslated “encirclement” as “besiege and attack” and apparently left many Chinese with the impression that a Chinese style mob attack was planned on their embassy, stoking understandable if entirely hypocritical anger.
Chinese for their part repeated the usual calls for attacks on Japanese property, boycotts of Japanese goods, and of course a break-off of diplomatic relations and the immediate seizure of the Senkaku islands.