A dispute over a chain of uninhabited islands known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkakus in Japan has lead to rising tensions between the two countries.
Activists from Hong Kong, Macau and China landed on one of the islands and were detained by Japan on Wednesday and deported Friday. On Sunday, Japanese activists landed on the island.
Over the weekend, Chinese protesters rallied in the streets.
Chinese state media portrayed the protests as fairly small, each composed of 200 people or less. But The New York Times reported photos from the city of Chengdu which show groups of protesters numbering in the tens of thousands. The pictures showed one banner that read, "Defend the Diaoyu Islands to the death." Another read, "Even if China is covered with graves, we must kill all Japanese."
Keith Bradsher is the Hong Kong bureau chief of The New York Times.