Four Japanese restaurant-goers were assaulted in Shanghai, a diplomat said on Tuesday, prompting Japan’s consulate to renew a warning to its citizens living in China as a major territorial row rumbles on.
The four were eating dinner at a restaurant in China’s commercial hub with a Chinese colleague who worked for the same Japanese company last Thursday when they were kicked and punched by a group of people, the Japanese diplomat said.
“The Chinese attackers were asking them whether they were Japanese or not. So maybe it reflects some anti-Japanese feeling in those attackers,” he said.
The victims visited hospital for treatment after the attack, but all of them had been released, he said. The Chinese member of the party was cut on his hand, apparently by a knife used by an attacker, the diplomat added.
Shanghai police informed Japanese officials that “several” Chinese people were arrested over the weekend in relation to the case, the diplomat said. The name of the Japanese company was not released by the consulate.
Police could not be immediately reached for comment on the case.
Following the assault, the Japanese consulate in Shanghai late on Monday repeated a warning that it originally issued to its citizens in China last month at the height of major public disturbances caused by a territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo.
The warning followed six “serious” assault or harassment cases, also in Shanghai, amid demonstrations which erupted in China over Japan’s purchase of a group of disputed islands.
The consulate urged Japanese citizens to be careful at night, stay away from public places and refrain from speaking Japanese in public.
Tens of thousands of Chinese protesters, some of whom targeted Japanese cars and businesses, demonstrated in September over competing claims to islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China.