Two anti-Japanese protests in China have prompted Tokyo to ask Beijing to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens and businesses in China.

A Japanese government spokesman says the request was made directly to Wang Yi, who is China's ambassador to Japan. The spokesman says Mr. Wang assured them that foreign businesses are protected under Chinese law.

Two Japanese department stores were vandalized during a protest Sunday in the southern city of Shenzhen. About three thousand people had gathered to protest Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Demonstrators in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Saturday smashed the windows of a Japanese supermarket.

Many people in China hold a lingering bitterness over Japan's brutal occupation before and during World War Two. The bitterness is fueled regularly by comments in China's state-run media.