Beijing: Thousands of anti-Japan protesters mounted demonstrations in cities across China as authorities on Sunday appealed for restraint, a day after violence erupted on a row over disputed islands in the East China Sea, claimed by both the nations.

Concerned over the safety of Japanese citizens in China, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday called on Beijing to prevent violence and attacks on the country's diplomatic missions amid growing tensions between the two sides over the islands.

China calls the disputed islands as Diaoyu islands while Japan, which control them, calls Senkaku islands. China on Friday sent six surveillance ships to the disputed area and asked Japanese coast guard vessels to leave the waters or face consequences.

Chinese paramilitary forces guarded the perimeter of the Japanese embassy here as they allowed protesters in groups to walk past the building. In Shanghai, hundreds of protesters gathered near the main gate of the Japanese Consulate and chanted anti-Japan slogans.

In Guangzhou, the capital of the southern province of Guangdong, over 10,000 people marched along several streets before staging protests outside the Japanese consulate on Sunday.

Chinese authorities, meanwhile, beefed up security in major cities to prevent protesters from damaging property.

Protesters yesterday pelted stones at Japan's embassy here amid growing tensions between the two sides over the islands, where surveillance ships dispatched by Beijing asked Japanese coast guard vessels to leave the disputed area or face consequences.

"The Chinese people should be rational and obey the law when expressing patriotic feelings and they should abstain from 'smashing and looting'," an appeal from the Chinese authorities said in a commentary carried by the official of media agency on Sunday.

(Agencies)

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