In a sudden shift, Chinese nationalist Web sites that have encouraged sometimes violent anti-Japanese protests urged supporters on Tuesday not to target Japanese citizens.
"We oppose the Japanese right-wingers and the politicians that support them, not the Japanese people," said a statement on the Web site 9-18.com, which earlier had publicized details of protest plans.
"Friendly Japanese people are our friends and brothers in arms," the statement said. The site's name refers to the date of the Sept. 19, 1931, start of Japan's invasion of China.
On Saturday, police in Shanghai let 20,000 protesters break windows at the Japanese Consulate, vandalize Japanese restaurants and damage cars.
China has refused to apologize or pay compensation, saying Japan sparked the protests.
Protesters oppose Tokyo's bid for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat and were enraged by new Japanese history textbooks that critics say minimize Japanese wartime atrocities. Many protesters called for a boycott of Japanese goods.
The Web sites' statements appeared aimed at preventing violence at upcoming protests, several of which are scheduled for early May. They also echoed government appeals for calm, underscoring their sensitivity toward official tolerance of the protests.
Another Web site, the Aiguozhe Patriotic Alliance Net, said violence would hurt the nationalist cause.
While mostly peaceful, protests have led to some "inharmonious, even unhappy events," the statement said. "This is a long battle, and we must avoid senseless, rash acts."
Some visitors to the sites rejected appeals for calm.
"What we need now is blood, not logic," said one unsigned posting on the Aiguozhe site.
"I can perfectly understand those who beat and smashed," said another, also unsigned. It added: "They weren't nearly as bad as your typical anti-globalization protester."
CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer
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