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Chinese vent ire on Japanese goods

Beijing, April 10 (Reuters): Thousands of protesters in southern China marched on a Japanese consulate today and threw paint and bottles at businesses selling Japanese goods, a day after anti-Tokyo demonstrations in Beijing turned violent.

The protests in Guangzhou province were the latest eruption of anger at what many Chinese see as Tokyo's whitewashing of World War II atrocities and its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Yesterday, an estimated 10,000 people gathered at Japan's embassy and the ambassador's residence, throwing rocks, bottles and eggs in the biggest public outpouring of anger against foreigners since the 1998 Nato bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade.

The fresh demonstrations came as Japanese foreign minister Nobutaka Machimura summoned the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo to lodge a formal protest and seek an apology for the anti-Japanese rally in Beijing, Japan's Kyoto news agency reported.

'A series of vandalism incidents on not only the Japanese embassy and the ambassador's residence, but also Japanese firms is indeed a serious problem,' Machimura said after a 30-minute meeting with ambassador Wang Yi.

Anti-Japan sentiment has been running high since Tuesday, when Japan approved a textbook critics say glosses over brutal Japanese occupation of China from 1931 to 1945.

Hong Kong's Cable TV said several thousand people marched in the provincial capital of Guangzhou, with some protesters trying to break through a police barricade outside Japan's consulate and others hurling things at Japanese restaurants and shops.

In nearby Shenzhen, a group of about 500 demonstrators marched in downtown shopping districts, chanting anti-Japan slogans and throwing paint and plastic bottles at Japanese restaurants, a Reuters witness said.

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