Japanese Firms Shut Down China Plants After Protest Violence

Japanese firms closed China plants today after a weekend of protest violence.

Thousands of people protested in the streets of China and Hong Kong against Japan’s claim to a contested island territory.
The protesters are rallying against recent actions by some 150 Japanese activists, who on Sunday raised their country’s flag on the disputed Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diyao.


Major Japanese brandname firms announced factory shutdowns in China on Monday and urged expatriates to stay indoors ahead of what could be more angry protests over a territorial dispute between Asia’s two biggest economies.

China’s worst outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in decades led to weekend demonstrations and violent attacks on well-known Japanese businesses such as car makers Toyota and Honda, forcing frightened Japanese into hiding and prompting Chinese state media to warn that trade relations could now be in jeopardy.

“I’m not going out today and I’ve asked my Chinese boyfriend to be with me all day tomorrow,” said Sayo Morimoto, a 29-year-old Japanese graduate student at a university in Shenzhen.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the government would protect Japanese firms and citizens and called for protesters to obey the law.

“The gravely destructive consequences of Japan’s illegal purchase of the Diaoyu Islands are steadily emerging, and the responsibility for this should be borne by Japan,” he told a daily news briefing.

The islands, called the Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China, are also claimed by self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway Chinese province.

“The course of developments will depend on whether or not Japan faces up to China’s solemn stance and whether or not it faces up to the calls for justice from the Chinese people and adopts a correct attitude and approach.”

China and Japan, which generated two-way trade of $345 billion last year, are arguing over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, a long-standing dispute that erupted last week when the Japanese government decided to buy some of them from a private Japanese owner.

The move, which infuriated Beijing, was intended by Japan’s government to fend off what it feared would be seen as an even more provocative plan by the nationalist governor of Tokyo to buy and build facilities on the islands.

In response, China sent six surveillance ships to the area, which contains potentially large gas reserves. On Monday, a flotilla of around 1,000 Chinese fishing boats was sailing for the islands.

Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands

My twin brother in Hong Kong tells me this story is all over the news right now.

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  • Robodog7

    No, it was a Godzilla video that started it. / sarc.

  • Gary Ogletree

    Wag the dog to distract from China economy woes?

  • Robodog7

    Attack Watch is back today, posts are disappearing again.

  • Where’s the MF money Jon?

    Large gas reserves? Why are they fighting over a fossil fuel that would only cause global warming and kill us all if it is used?

    I recommend Al Gore and John Kerry be sent to mediate. Al Gore is the democratic party’s expert on global warming and John Kerry will be the next Secretary of State if Obama wins reelection.

  • CurseYouObama

    China vs Japan. I think everyone can guess the outcome if they go to war. Of course Obozo would throw Japan under the bus just like he’s doing to Israel in regards to Iran.

    Oh November you cannot come quick enough!

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  • JR

    See how emotional these folks are over a tiny bunch of unheard of islands out in the Pacific? Taiwan is the same, times maybe ten. When (not if) the time comes for China to take over Taiwan, there are many people inside America that will sympathize, and sabotage.

  • Church of Perpetual Outrage

    China cannot feed itself, this is the result.

  • Peter Warner

    This is the major news in Japan as well, for well over over a week. These worthless rocks surrounded by open sea are getting more attention than the riots, attacks and killings in the Middle East.

    About two weeks ago or so, some Chinese fishing boats with Chinese activists attempted to occupy the uninhabited islands, they were apprehended and sent back to China by the Japanese coast guard, without penalty. Either before or after that, the Japanese government made the purchase. Both countries are getting pretty wound up over these tiny islands that don’t even have fresh water. (I haven’t been watching this closely, so I may have some details incorrect.)

    It is revealing, that every nation insists that Israel give up major developed land in exchange for peace with its neighbors, yet none would ever consider for a moment doing the same themselves. As well, the level of national pride and racial undertones between Asian nations is astonishing sometimes.

    Best regards, Peter Warner.

  • valerie

    More rent-a-mobs.

  • American Woman

    Frankly, I side with the Japanese. The Japanese Gocernment bought the property from someone, who held the title; they did not steal it.

    China needs to feed its people, before it worries about expansion.