Anti-Japan protests intensify

Anti-Japan demonstrations have intensified in China in response to a diplomatic dispute over the ownership of islands in the East China Sea. Major Japanese firms including Panasonic, Canon and Mitsubishi have closed their factories in the country.

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China says hopes island dispute can be 'resolved peacefully'

China's Defence Minister has said he hopes a dispute with Japan over East China Sea islands claimed by both countries could be "resolved peacefully", but added Beijing reserved the right to take "further action".

Anti-Japan protesters are blocked by police in a demonstration in Shanghai today. Credit: Reuters

Liang Guanglie told reporters after meeting his US counterpart, Leon Panetta: "... That being said, we still hope for a peaceful and negotiated solution to this issue and we hope to work together and work well with the Japanese government properly handling this dispute".

Japanese companies halt operations in China

Well-known Japanese companies have been targeted by Chinese protesters, over a diplomatic dispute on the ownership of islands in the East China Sea.

Several firms have halted some of their operations in the country and recalled workers, sending Japanese share prices falling and prompting a warning from credit rating agency Fitch that the situation could hurt some auto and tech firms' creditworthiness. The companies include:

  • Toyota Motor Corp
  • Honda Motor Co
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi Motors
  • Panasonic
  • Fast Retailing
  • Hitachi Construction Machinery

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US Defence Secretary urges China and Japan to exercise restraint

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta urges restraint in their dispute. Credit: Reuters

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated a call for China and Japan for restraint in their dispute over ownership of a group of islands in the East China Sea. Panetta told reporters in Beijing:

"With respect to these current tensions, we are urging calm and restraint by all sides and encourage them to maintain open channels of communication in order to resolve these disputes diplomatically and peacefully".

China: Japanese presence on disputed islands 'gravely provocative'

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry has described the landing of two people thought to be Japanese on a group of islands claimed by both China and Japan as "gravely provocative".

The unlawful landing of the Japanese right-wingers on the Chinese territory of the Diaoyu islands was a gravely provocative action violating Chinese territorial sovereignty.

We urge Japan to take effective measures to halt all actions that exacerbate conflict.

At the same time, China retains the right to take further steps.

– Hong Lei, chinese foreign Ministry spokesman

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Mitsubishi and Yamaha suspend work at Chinese plants

A Mitsubishi car dealership in Beijing, China Credit: REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

The Japanese motor firm Mitsubishi has said it will halt operations at one of its factories in China today following anti-Japanese demonstrations in the country.

Yamaha Motor Company also said it will suspend operations at four Chinese plants in Hunan and Jiangsu provinces.

There have been a number of protests in response to a diplomatic spat between China and Japan over a set of disputed islands in East China Sea.

US calls for 'calm and restraint' in dispute between China and Japan

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has called for "calm and restraint" from both China and Japan. The Financial Times (£) says that on the first leg of a week-long Asian tour he said:

“It is in everybody’s interests – everybody’s interests – for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to find a way to avoid further escalation.”

Panetta is due to arrive in Beijing for talks tonight Credit: Reuters
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