Panasonic, Canon Shutter China Factories Amid Violent Anti-Japan Protests – 1,000 Chinese Fishing Boats To Arrive Near Senkaku Islands

An anti-Japanese protester throws a gas canister during a demonstration over the disputed Diaoyu Islands in Shenzhen, China, on Sunday.

Panasonic, Canon shutter China factories amid violent anti-Japan protests (MSNBC, 17, 2012):

Major electronics firms Panasonic and Canon have temporarily suspended production at factories in China after a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea triggered violent anti-Japanese protests.

Sites linked to auto manufacturers Toyota and Honda have also been attacked in the unrest, which has forced frightened expatriates into hiding and sent relations between Asia’s two biggest economies into crisis.

Ratcheting up tensions further on Monday, Chinese state media warned Japan it could suffer another “lost decade” if trade ties soured. Japan counted China as its top trade partner last year, with total two-way trade of more than $340 billion.

A demonstrator kicks a glass window of the Japanese Seibu department store during a protest in Shenzhen, China, on Sunday.

A report in the Japan Times on Monday, posted on Twitter, said 1,000 fishing boats were sailing towards the disputed islands – a move likely to further inflame tensions.

“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.

Protests broke out across dozens of Chinese cities at the weekend, some violent, in response to the Japanese government’s decision last week to buy some of the disputed islands from a private Japanese owner. The move incensed Beijing.

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