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14 Oct, 2012

China: Will Economic War (Including Cancelled Trips) Awaken Japan?


Beijing, (People’s Daily Online Commentary), October 13, 2012  – Chinese consumers have expressed their outrage at Japan’s illegal “nationalization” of China’s Diaoyu Islands through voluntary actions.

The spontaneous economic war launched by angry Chinese people against Japan mainly focuses on two aspects: temporarily stop buying Japanese cars and cancel trips to Japan.

Statistics showed that Japanese auto exports to China shrank 70 percent in the third quarter. September sales of Mazda and Mitsubishi cars in China dropped 35 percent and 63 percent respectively. In August, Toyota’s new vehicle deliveries in China slipped 50 percent, and sales of Suzuki cars in the country declined nearly 43 percent from last year. Overall, Japanese automakers are suffering a disastrous setback in China.

Japan’s tourism industry has received an even deadlier blow. Japan’s two biggest airlines have seen about 60,000 seat bookings canceled in just six weeks, and both slashed flights to China.

The steep decline of the Japanese economy has fueled public discontent with the government. An opinion poll conducted by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) on Oct. 6 and 7 showed that only 29 percent of respondents thought Yoshihiko Noda was a suitable person for the position of prime minister.

By “nationalizing” the Diaoyu Islands, Noda has gone even further down a dead-end road, and caused all Japanese people to pay heavy consequences.

Cooperation benefits both sides, while confrontation only brings harm. It is obviously beyond the ability of current Japanese leaders to improve the strained China-Japan relations and properly handle the bilateral territorial dispute.

Japan needs to reflect on its past deeds, and accept the fact that China has regained status as a world power. As the world’s second and third largest economies, China and Japan have a duty to move beyond narrow nationalism, properly handle the dispute, and break out of the vicious circle plaguing their bilateral relations.

Read the Chinese version: 经济衰退能否刺醒日本当局, source: International Finance News, author: Fu Guangyun