On September 17, 2012 some of the major Japanese brandname firms announced shutdowns in China. The firms also urged the expatriates to stay indoors as more angry protests could even result over a territorial dispute between Asia’s two biggest economies.
The worst outbreak of the anti-Japan sentiments in decades in China led to weekend demonstrations and violent attacks on well known Japanese businesses like Toyota and Honda. The Japanese were forced to hide and prompted the Chinese state media to warn that trade relations could be in jeopardy.
Sayo Morimoto, a 29 year old Japanese graduate student at a university in Shenzhen said, “I’m not going out today and I’ve asked my Chinese boyfriend to be with me all day tomorrow”. Hong Lei, a spokesperson from Chinese Foreign Ministry said, the government would protest the Japanese firms as well as citizens and called for protests to obey the law.
The spokesperson added, “The gravely destructive consequences of Japan’s illegal purchase of the Diaoyu Islands are steadily emerging, and the responsibility for this should be born by Japan”. Japan and China are arguing over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, which is a long standing dispute that erupted last week when the Japan govt decided to buy some of them from a private Japanese owner.