Around 1,000 Chinese fishing boats are bearing down on the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, while Japanese carmakers in China are buttoning-up their Chinese car factories.
Some 1,000 fishing boats have set sail from mainland China towards the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, Chinese national media reported on Monday. Says The Nikkei [sub] :
“If a large number of Chinese vessels intrude into Japanese territorial waters around the Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, it could trigger unexpected incidents such as clashes with Japan Coast Guard patrol ships, further escalating tensions between the two countries.”
At the same time, Japanese carmakers operating in China announced closures of their factories.
- Nissan suspended production on Monday and Tuesday at two factories in Guangzhou and Zhengzhou, Reuters says.
- Honda will suspend production in China starting September 18. “We have decided to suspend production for two days” in the wake of the heightened tensions between China and Japan, Honda spokeswoman Natsuno Asanuma told Reuters. “Our dealers are not in a position to receive car allocations currently.”
- Mazda will temporarily halt production at its Nanjing factory. The factory will be closed for four days from Tuesday, Mazda spokesman Naoto Oikawa told Reuters.
The closures have dual reasons. There has been violence against Japanese businesses, factories and dealers. However, sales of Japanese cars in China also have dropped in August and are likely further down in September, making a stop in output the prudent thing to do.
The divine wind that saved Japan twice from the Mongols won’t help Japan this time. Super Typhoon Samba moved through a day early and is no threat to the 1,000 fishing boats.