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Japanese schools, businesses close in China

Chinese national flags hang from a Japanese restaurant near the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Saturday. The restaurant was closed due to fears of vandalism from anti-Japan rally participants.

Publication Date : 17-09-2012

 

Violent anti-Japan rallies across China on Saturday have quickly spread fear among Japanese nationals living in the country.

The rampant demonstrations have also begun to affect bilateral business activities.

Japanese cars were removed from displays at a motor show in Shandong Province, some Japanese companies have started curtailing business trips to China, and many Chinese sightseeing tours to Japan and bilateral exchange events have been canceled.

The strong antipathy demonstrated by the Chinese side is worrying an increasing number of Japanese residents in China.

In Shanghai, which has the largest community of Japanese nationals in the country, many Japan-affiliated companies near the Japanese Consulate General told employees not to work overtime and go home early.

Some Japanese restaurants in the city have hoisted the Chinese national flag to emphasise their patriotic sentiment and prevent harassment.

In Weihai, a coastal city in Shandong Province, Honda Motor Co. was asked by the organiser of a motor show in the city not to exhibit Japanese cars. Consequently, the company withdrew from the show.

Local auto dealers selling Suzuki Motor Corp.'s cars also cancelled their participation in the motor show.

The Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Saturday issued a warning to Japanese residents in China, which specified the following:

-- Avoid the vicinity of the Japanese Embassy because it is a target of anti-Japan demonstrations.

-- Avoid going out alone at night and refrain from speaking loudly in Japanese, even during the day.

-- Avoid entering taxis alone.

One Japanese company official stationed in Beijing said: "Since the announcement of the nationalisation of the Senkaku Islands, I've been harassed at many places in China, more often than before. Though I think only a small number of Chinese have reacted in such a manner, I want to respond to them calmly as a Japanese."

A Jusco Huangdao outlet in Qingdao, Shandong Province, was attacked by protesters and decided to close Sunday.

In Chengdu, Sichuan Province, where a large-scale anti-Japan rally reportedly occurred, an Isetan department store and five branches of the Ito-Yokado chain shut their doors.

Additional large-scale rallies are rumoured to be planned for Tuesday, which has led Japanese schools in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to cancel classes on the day.

A Japanese company official stationed in Shanghai whose son is in the second grade of primary school said, "If anti-Japan protests escalate [in violence] and there is a possibility my wife and son could be harmed, I'll have to consider sending them back to Japan."

Kato is a correspondent in Shanghai, Seki is in Weihai, and Yoshida is in Guangzhou.

 

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