Tokyo, Sept. 17 (CNA) The Japanese government has stepped up monitoring in the waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea as the 81st anniversary of the Mukden Incident approaches, according to a news report in the Japanese media Monday.
The Mukden Incident refers to an attack on Sept. 18, 1931 by Japanese forces on Chinese troops in Shenyang, northeastern China, which marked a step in Japan's conquest of Manchuria and onward to much of China in the 1930s and World War II.
The NHK reported that Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has instructed Deputy Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai to see that Japanese nationals in mainland China are protected, amid anti-Japanese demonstrations in China against Japan's recent nationalization of the Diaoyutai Islands.
The Japanese government, worried about more violent protests against Japan, has been asking Beijing to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and enterprises in China, the report said.
In addition, Japan has stepped up monitoring in the waters near the Diaoyutais, which are called the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the news report said.
With the end of a moratorium on fishing by China in the East China Sea on Sunday, more Chinese fishing boats are expected to be seen near the Diaoyutai Islands, which are currently under the administration of Japan but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.
(By Tsao Heng and Lilian Wu)