04:28 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Demonstrators Rally at Japanse Embassy in Beijing

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Thousands of protesters rallied at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing against Japan's recent nationalization of the contested Diaoyu Islands, according to Chinese television station Fenghuang.

Thousands of protesters rallied at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing against Japan's recent nationalization of the contested Diaoyu Islands, according to Chinese television station Fenghuang.

Relations between the two countries grew tense this week after Japan purchased three of the five islands, located in the East China Sea, from a private owner, despite warnings from China that such a move would endanger Chinese territorial sovereignty.

A sea of protesters wielding Chinese flags broke through a ring of police officers at the Embassy, according to Chinese television, and hurled raw eggs, plastic bottles and other debris at the building.

Protests against Tokyo's move have continued all week at various locations, including at Japanese missions, car dealerships and restaurants. Saturday's rally at the Embassy has so far been the largest.

The Diaoyu (or Senkaku, in Japanese) Islands has long been a disputed territory between the two countries. Japan claims it has occupied the islands since 1895, while China has said the islands were labeled Chinese as early as 1783.

Taiwan and Beijing believe Japan is occupying the islands illegally, while Tokyo believes its rivals only became vocal over the issue in the 1970s upon the discovery of valuable minerals.