Territorial disputes have sparked China's worst outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in decades that led to weekend demonstrations and violent attacks against well-known Japanese businesses such as Toyota and Honda. These attacks have forced frightened Japanese expatriates in China into hiding and prompted the Chinese state media to warn that trade relations could be in jeopardy.

Tensions continue to rise as the territorial disputes between Asia's two biggest economies spark angry protests in various parts of China against Japanese firms. As such, a few major Japanese brand name firms have chosen to announce factory shutdowns across China and urged expatriates to stay indoors to avoid potential violence. Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Panasonic, and Canon are among those who have announced factory shutdowns.

The protests have mainly targeted Japanese diplomatic missions but have expanded to include shops, restaurants and car dealerships in at least five cities. Protests across the country have made automotive manufacturing factories grind to a screeching halt. Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co both had arson attacks that damaged their stores badly in the eastern port city of Qingdao. Toyota said its factories and offices were operating as usual on Monday and that it had not sent its Japanese employees home. Honda however said that it would suspend production in China for two days, starting Tuesday. Mazda Motor Corp meanwhile halted production at its Nanjing factory for four days, which it jointly operates with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd and Ford Motor Co.

Nissan Motor Co suspended their operations since Monday. A Nissan executive who reside in the southern city of Guangzhou, who declined to be named, commented that “I want to leave, protests near my home were horrifying over the weekend.”

SOURCES: Reuters