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Japanese Foreign Ministry official Hiroaki Sakamoto confirmed that China has canceled the events, planned for Thursday. He did not provide details.

China’s Xinhua News Agency, citing officials with the China-Japan Friendship Association and another government-affiliated group, reported Sunday that the events would not take place as planned.

It said they would be held “at a proper time.”

Calls to China’s Foreign Ministry were not answered Sunday. In its evening broadcast, China Central Television said the timing of the events was being “adjusted.”

Relations have sunk to their worst level in years as the two sides spar over islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries and by Taiwan.

In the latest large anti-Japan protest in China, as many as 3,000 people demonstrated Sunday in the southern city of Guangzhou, Xinhua reported.

IRAQ

Police: 5 killed in attacks on security forces, Shiites

BAGHDAD — Attacks killed five people in Iraq’s capital Sunday, targeting security forces and Shiite Muslims in the small but steady stream of continuing violence across the country.

The victims were top targets of Sunni insurgents who have sought to shake public trust in the Shiite-led government and rekindle widespread sectarian fighting like the kind that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war just a few years ago.

In the deadliest attack Sunday, a minibus exploded in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City.

Police said three passengers were killed and seven wounded in the noontime blast in what is one of Baghdad’s poorest areas and traditional stronghold of a Shiite militia that used to fight the Sunni insurgency.

Several hours later, officials said gunmen killed a federal police general and his aide in a drive-by shooting on a western Baghdad highway.

Police said Brig. Gen. Naif Abdul-Razzaq and his driver were headed home from work when they were shot. The gunmen escaped before they could be caught, police said.

Medics in nearby hospitals confirmed the death toll in both incidents.

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