Chinese Attack Japanese Targets in Beijing By REUTERS Published: April 9, 2005 Filed at 11:40 a.m. ET BEIJING (Reuters) - Thousands of Chinese smashed windows and threw rocks at t he Japanese embassy and ambassador's residence in Beijing on Saturday in prot est against Japan's wartime past and its bid for a U.N. Security Council seat . Protesters pushed their way through a paramilitary police cordon to the gates of the ambassador's residence, shouting ``Japanese pig come out.'' Advertisement Some 500 paramilitary police holding plastic shields raced into the compound and barricaded the gates. ``Chinese people shouldn't protect Japanese,'' the protesters shouted. Many Chinese resent Japan's wartime aggression and anti-Japan sentiment has b een running high in China since Tuesday Japan when approved a textbook critic s say whitewashes wartime atrocities. Demonstrators, who said they had been organized mostly through e-mail and ins tant messaging, had been marching peacefully under heavy police guard. One group began throwing bottles and stones when they passed a Japanese resta urant, smashing windows with tiles they had ripped from its roof before polic e stopped them. A second restaurant was targeted later in the evening, with r ocks thrown through the window, terrifying kimono-clad waitresses. ``We are all Chinese in here and were just minding our own business,'' one to ld Reuters after the attack. Protesters also attacked a Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi branch and smashed window s before police moved in. Another group outside the embassy in southeast Beijing threw stones and plast ic water bottles smashing windows in the compound. Some demonstrators scuffle d with police. OFFICIAL PROTEST The violence prompted an official protest in Tokyo. Japan's Kyodo news agency said the Chinese Foreign Ministry had expressed regret for the violence, quo ting the Japanese Embassy. ``The fact that people took actions such as throwing rocks at the ambassador' s residence as well as the embassy is not something that the Chinese governme nt can accept,'' Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Qiao Zonghuai was quoted as sa ying. ``Representing the government, I offer my heartfelt sympathy and express my r egret.''to several dozen. Earlier, a crowd of about 1,000 protesters was turned away from marching to t he political heart of Beijing, Tiananmen Square, where a pro-democracy studen t protest was crushed with massive loss of life in 1989. The crowd, signing and chanting, was turned back toward the Japanese embassy which was guarded by line of city police and behind them five lines of riot p olice with shields. The demonstration started in the Beijing neighborhood of Zhongguancun, known for its electronics shops and home to a large student population, and comes l ess than a week after anti-Japanese protests in other Chinese cities turned v iolent. ``Japan doesn't face up to its history,'' said Cheng Lei, 27, an information technology professional. ``We want to express our feelings so the Japanese go vernment knows what we think.'' The official Xinhua news agency put the number of protesters early in the day at more than 10,000. Large-scale protests are rare in China, where the Communist leadership is con cerned about maintaining stability at a time of social change and a widening gap between rich and poor. Past demonstrations outside the Japanese embassy have typically been heavily policed, choreographed events involving about 50 people, with short speeches. Last week, protesters smashed windows at a Japanese supermarket in southwest Chengdu after a demonstration there against Japan's bid for a permanent Secur ity Council seat. Protesters also took to the streets in Guangzhou, Chongqing and the southern city of Shenzhen. Media said 20 million Chinese signed an online petition opp osing the U.N. seat bid. Some protesters wore red signs pasted to their chests bearing a traditional C hinese dragon and reading ``Reject Japanese goods.'' Others began kicking a T oyota car caught in the middle of the crowd before it managed to drive away. ``Across the country, the mood to refuse Japanese goods is high, but nothing has been done about this. Therefore, patriotic students have organized themse lves,'' said a notice circulated by e-mail on Friday urging people to protest . Japanese corporations sunk $9.2 billion into China in 2004, highlighting the financial ties at stake should the Chinese government heed the citizens in th e streets and take a more strident line in dealing with the Japan.