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Tension Escalates Between China and Japan

More tensions are flaring between China and Japan, following an attack on a Chinese language school in Tokyo. Police and media say the incident is the latest backlash against violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in China, sparked by new Japanese schoolbooks.

Shots were fired Monday at a Chinese language school in Tokyo, leaving bullet holes in a door but causing no injuries.  The violence is believed to be retaliation for several anti-Japanese protests across China this month.

The increasing tension is due partly to rising Chinese anger over Japan's conduct before and during World War Two, the anger fueled by the publication of new Japanese school textbooks that critics say fail to acknowledge atrocities committed by Japan against the Chinese.

Monday in Beijing, Japan's Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said he would do his best to resolve the tensions. Sunday, he said he would seek an apology for damage to Japanese property that occurred during the riots in China.

But his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, declined, saying Japan is the nation which should apologize.

Adding to the tensions is Tokyo's effort to gain a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Thomas Schieffer, said Monday that Tokyo deserves a seat on the Council, and expressed optimism that China and Japan will resolve their conflict. "The stability of Asia is important and the peace of Asia is important to the United States and we hope at the end of the day that China and Japan will be able to work together for a more peaceful, stable Asia."

Meanwhile, Tokyo's benchmark stock index, the Nikkei, plunged more than three percent Monday morning, dropping 432 points to 10,938 amid investor concerns about the anti-Japanese protests. That is its lowest close since December 16th.

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