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WORLD IN BRIEF

Sunday, April 17, 2005; Page A24

Thousands of Chinese Protest Against Japan

BEIJING -- Thousands of young Chinese protesters massed in front of the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai on Saturday, shouting "Japanese must die!" and lobbing eggs, bottles and stones despite the presence of a sizable security force and official appeals for order.

The crowd, small at first, grew to more than 10,000 people as several streams of marchers converged on the consulate during the day. Police tried to prevent them from approaching the consulate, but some youths pushed their way through.


Chinese marchers protesting Japanese World war II-era atrocities, force their way through a police cordon outside the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai. (Claro Cortes Iv -- Reuters)

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said it had "strongly protested" the violence to the Chinese government, according to news dispatches from Tokyo. In a statement, the ministry blamed Beijing for allowing the attack on the consulate even though authorities had plenty of time to put security measures into place.

The renewed Chinese protests and Japan's angry reaction suggested a two-week confrontation between the two Asian giants is far from over, despite appeals from both sides for friendly dialogue.

The raucous scene contrasted vividly with events in Beijing, where police prevailed on student organizers to cancel a large-scale demonstration they had planned.

Resentment against Japan, never far from the surface here, has surged in recent days because of newly approved textbooks in Japan that, according to Chinese nationalists, fall short of the truth in recounting Japanese atrocities during its World War II-era occupation of China.

-- Edward Cody and Jason Cai

THE MIDDLE EAST

JERUSALEM -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he planned to hold parliamentary elections on schedule, while the Islamic militant group Hamas threatened to reconsider its shaky truce with Israel if the July 17 vote was delayed.

Other Palestinian officials, however, left open the possibility that the vote could be delayed until after Israel's evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, scheduled to begin in late July.

EUROPE

ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's allies worked behind the scenes to keep his four-year-old government from collapsing after the pullout of a coalition partner raised the threat of snap elections.

Berlusconi sent Italy's president the resignation letters of four ministers from the Union of Christian Democrats party, which is demanding he recast his cabinet and policy priorities after a bruising defeat in April regional elections.

KOROLYOV, Russia -- A Russian spaceship carrying a U.S.-Russian crew and an Italian astronaut docked Sunday at the international space station.


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