As popular outrage continued to swirl in China over Japan's decision to make the disputed Senkaku Islands state property, anti-Japanese demonstrators took to the streets to mark the 81st anniversary of an incident that paved the way for the Japanese invasion and occupation of Manchuria.
The "day of national humiliation" for China occurred Sept. 18, 1931. Chinese refer to it as the Liutiaohu Incident.
Because of the nature of this anniversary, there were concerns that the violence seen in recent days could escalate.
But while some demonstrators threw rocks and took other actions, Chinese law enforcement authorities were on high alert. This averted the sort of previous mob violence that targeted Japanese shops and factories.
The authorities are now cracking down harder on out-of-control protesters. They are also turning to the media to publicly condemn acts of violence.
Beijing should take this as the cue for bringing the situation under control.
Although the Japanese government's position is that there is no territorial dispute, surely there must be steps that both Japan and China can take to ease this unfruitful conflict.
Both countries have many areas of common interest that should prove mutually beneficial. The ball is in China's court now to create an environment conducive to candid talks.
Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo