TOKYO, Sept 16 Japan's ambassador-designate to
China, Shinichi Nishimiya, died on Sunday in a Tokyo hospital,
the Foreign Ministry said, three days after he was found
unconscious on a Tokyo street.
Doctors were looking into the cause of death, ministry
official Takashi Ariyoshi said in a statement, but no other
details were available. Nishimiya, 60, was found unconscious on
a street near his home on his way to work.
Nishimiya was to have left in mid-October to take over from
Uichiro Niwa as Japan's top envoy in Beijing.
While coincidental, Nishimiya's death came as tensions
flared up between Japan and China over a disputed group of
islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries.
Anti-Japan protests flared in cities across China for a
second day on Sunday, with police using tear gas and water
cannon to drive back thousands of protesters in the southern
Chinese city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.
The protests, the latest setback in long-troubled relations
between China and Japan, followed Japan's decision on Tuesday to
buy the disputed islands, called Senkaku by Tokyo and the Diaoyu
by Beijing and which could contain rich gas reserves, from a
private Japanese owner.
(Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Paul Tait)