Anti-Japanese sentiment flared yesterday when more than 15,000 people took to the streets to protest against Japan's claim to the Diaoyu Islands. The protest, organised by the New Party, was the biggest outcry since Japanese right-wing activists built a lighthouse on the islands in the East China Sea in July. Singing patriotic songs, chanting slogans and waving Taiwanese flags, the demonstrators marched from Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall where they staged a rally, accusing Japan of reviving militarism. Among them were 10 representatives from Hong Kong's Action Committee in Defence of Diaoyu Islands, who showed their support in a coalition between Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan over the issue. Democratic Party legislator Albert Ho Chun-yan urged Beijing and Taipei to take action to reclaim the islands' sovereignty. 'Both governments' attitudes are too weak, we are very disappointed,' Mr Ho told the rally. 'Some officials in both governments have said we should value the Sino-Japanese relationship, but this friendship should never be in exchange for one inch of Chinese territory,' he said. Another Hong Kong legislator, Tsang Kin-shing, said China or Taiwan should send troops to the islands and reclaim its sovereignty. New Party spiritual leader Hsu Li-nung , who convened the rally, said Taipei should reject any Japanese proposal to talk on fishing rights only, and avoid the question of sovereignty. 'President Lee Teng-hui should wake up and take action to force the Japanese out,' he said. The kilometre-long demonstration remained high spirited during the three-hour protest. Marchers waved banners saying: 'Down with Japanese militarism'. Protesters also struck an effigy of Japanese Prime Minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto, which had been propped up on the bonnet of a car. Local supporters of the New Party carried a cardboard cut-out of kung fu star Bruce Lee kicking a Japanese sumo wrestler. One of them said: 'I hope President Lee can learn from Bruce Lee's movies about protecting the country.'