Japanese firms suspend operations in China amid protests over disputed islands

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 18, 2012 06:50 hrs

Some of Japan's biggest firms have suspended operations at some factories in China as safety concerns grow amid violent anti-Japan protests in the country.

Panasonic said its factory in Qingdao would remain shut until 18 September, while Canon has also temporarily suspended operations at three plants.

Honda, Mazda and Nissan are stopping car production for two to four days.

According to the BBC, Chinese are protesting after Japan purchased the islands in the East China Sea, which China claims sovereignty over.

A spokesperson for electronics giant Panasonic said that the firm would continue to monitor the situation over the next two days.

Honda's spokeswoman, Natsuno Asanuma, said that the company was suspending production at two factories each in the southern city of Guangzhou and the central city of Wuhan.

Some of the company's stores have been damaged by protestors in Qingdao.

According to the report, the overseas edition of the People's Daily, the main newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, said that although Beijing was always 'extremely cautious about playing the economic card', it could resort to economic retaliation if the dispute continues.

"In struggles concerning territorial sovereignty, if Japan continues its provocations, then China will take up the battle," it said.

Calls for boycotts of Japanese businesses and products have been spreading in the streets and on the Internet.

The disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, are uninhabited but resource-rich.

They have been a contentious issue between the two countries and were the focus of a major diplomatic row between them in 2010. (ANI)

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