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Dueling protests held in Japan, China

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Dueling protests were held Saturday in China and Japan over ownership of a group of islands

In China, demonstrations were held in Chengdu, Xian and Zhengzhou, Xinhua, the official government news agency, reported.

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Protesters in Tokyo gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy, Kyodo News reported. On Okinawa, fishermen held a demonstration in Ginowan, protesting foreign fishing vessels in Japanese-claimed territorial waters.

At issue, are eight small uninhabited islands on the edge of the continental shelf, 255 miles west of Okinawa. They are known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.

Ownership of the islands has been an issue for several decades. It flared up recently when Japan detained the captain of a Chinese trawler that collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels.

Executives with two Japanese retail chains, Ito-Yokado and Isetan, said that in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, students barged into their stores, breaking windows and display cases, Kyodo said. In Xian, Xinhua said demonstrators burned Japanese flags and broke into a Mizuno sportswear store.

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