CHANGCHUN, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Air-raid sirens rang out over northeast China on Tuesday, urging the Chinese public not to forget that Japan invaded and occupied Chinese land on this day 81 years ago.
Meanwhile, people taking to the streets to protest Japan's recent "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands were told to remain calm and civil, as bouts of violence have erupted during some protest activities.
"Those who incite violence and hatred are detested in mainstream public opinion," according to an editorial from Xinjingbao, a major newspaper in Beijing, putting it among the media outlets that have denounced the sporadic episodes of violence over the past few weeks and asked the Chinese public not to focus their discontent toward Japanese people living in China.
Pictures of people pleading for calm and restraint are among the most circulated posts on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like service with over 300 million users.
The Japanese army launched its invasion of China's northeastern regions on Sept. 18, 1931, beginning a deadly era for those living in those regions and marking the date as the "day of national humiliation."
"The memory of my country's suffering was refreshed, especially as the Japanese government now attempts to seize our Diaoyu Islands," said Xu Xinran after visiting the royal palace of the "Manchukuo," the puppet state established by the Empire of Japan in Manchuria when it occupied northeast China.
Last week, ahead of this sensitive time for Sino-Japan relations, nationwide anger was provoked when Japan announced on Sept. 10 that it would "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands.
"Long gone are the days when the Chinese nation was subject to bullying and humiliation from others," said a strongly-worded statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sept. 10. "The Chinese government will not sit idly by watching its territorial sovereignty being infringed upon."
Tens of thousands of people have since launched demonstrations to demand that the Japanese government repeal its illegal "purchase."
The Chinese government reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands hours after Japan announced its "purchase." China has sent two surveillance ship fleets to patrol waters around the Diaoyu Islands and China's State Oceanic Administration has released a string of geographic codes of the territories.
More than 1,000 Chinese fishing vessels are heading to the waters of the Diaoyu Islands, defying the Japanese government's "purchase" of the cluster of Chinese territories in the East China Sea.