By on September 17, 2012

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.

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31 Comments on “1,000 Chinese Ships Sail To Disputed Islands, Japanese Carmakers Shut Down Factories...”

  • avatar

    And then you have the German dealerships not helping in matters:

    Patrick Chovanec ‏@prchovanec
    RT @ChinaGeeks: Audi dealership with signs saying all Japanese should be killed

    (Somebody who isn’t a disgrace to his Chinese heritage, can you confirm that’s what it says? The expression on the faces is ridiculous in light of events)

  • avatar

    C’mon, China…aren’t you big enough already?

    • 0 avatar


      ‘C’mon, China…aren’t you big enough already?’ They won’t think so until there are UN (Chinese) troops marching on every interstate and major metro area in the US. After all, they do own us…

      As for Japan, god help them. This coupled with the current unrest in the Middle East, and shit’s about to go down. B&B, who’s side are you on?

      • 0 avatar

        “After all, they do own us…”

        A common misconception. They own much of our debt, that is, a bunch of IOUs.

        There’s the old story about the guy who is deeply in debt and stays awake at night, wondering how he’ll ever repay it all. Then he’s in debt so deeply that he stops worrying and sleeps like a baby. At that point, it’s his creditors turn to stay awake at night, wondering if they’ll ever get their money back.

      • 0 avatar

        You know, Chinese have their own joke about their stock market (which is terrible right now):

        A Chinese stock investor would sleep like a baby at night — crying all night.

      • 0 avatar

        I have to imagine the Japanese are fairly nervous right about now, at what point do they lose faith in the US’s ability to protect them and start to militarize? I can’t say I’d blame them if they did.

  • avatar

    I understand the often irrational nature of nationalism and all, but can’t they just settle this thing already?

    What about turning the islands into some sort of a codominion, with equal voting rights for China and Japan and splitting revenue from fishing licenses and oil/gas exploration 50-50? How about just drawing a line through the middle – Japan takes Sekibi, Kobi, Okinokita, and Okinominami; and China takes Uotsuri, Kita, Minami, and Tobi?

    Ah, but wait, there’s also Taiwan. Damn, this is hard. OK, keep burning cars and destroying buildings for now, we’ll get back to you on this one.

    • 0 avatar

      As I mentioned on the other China story, the Spratly Islands.

      China, Vietnam, Phillipines, Tiawan, Malaysia, Brunei.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        +1 China pretty much considers anything in the China sea theirs. Yes there are pesky details but if you live in Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, or Brunei; China considers anything from your waterline to the China coast theirs.

    • 0 avatar

      Before the 2010 clash when the Chinese fisherman clashed into the Japanese coastguard, there actually was an agreement and cooperation to jointly develop any natural gas fields that was found in those disputed islands. They were agreed on in 2008 after decades of behind the scene negotiation.

      But obviously that is no longer going to happen. Similar deals were in place between the Phillipines, Vietnam, etc in the South China Seas.

      What these disputes are about is oil. Plain and simple.

      China made no claims to those islands until the US discovered oil nearby in 1968 while the US controlled the disputed islands. China didn’t complain when the US used to bomb that island for target practice.

      It was a barren set of rocks nobody cared about. Its only after UNCLOS, and modern EEZ (exclusive economic zone) rules when China even gave those islands (and the natural gas fields) any notice.

      China knows that it can extend itself in both the East & South China seas. Energy is one of biggest issues facing a growing country and they really aren’t in any position to negotiate as Asia’s 800lb Gorilla.

      China’s territorial push has given an opportunity for the US to step in as the primary influential power in Asia, something China was posed to become.

      The biggest beneficiary of these disputes is the United States, it is pushing a lot of countries into the US sphere of influence. Not just existing allies that have been drifting away, like Japan & S. Korea, but particularly the South East Asian countries and India, as well as unlikely allies like communist Vietnam.

  • avatar

    China is really progressing. Not that long ago, if a thousand boats took off towards Japan, the Chinese navy would have blown them out of the water to prevent defections.

    • 0 avatar


      The dirty little secret is, that China is now broke too from buying US treasury bills.

      Maybe they’ll pull an Obummer and offer tax credits for people who decide to find work in other countries?

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Slightly to very racist, depending on how much you infer. One of my various cousins has a Chinese partner and the Chinese partner is the better driver of the two

  • avatar

    The good thing is that they are sailing. If they were driving, ½ would get lost and the other half would be killed in accidents.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I posted in the wrong area, this was meant for Geekcarlover. Slightly to very racist, depending on how much you infer. One of my various cousins has a Chinese partner and the Chinese partner is the better driver of the two.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve been to China several times. They really do suck at driving. Not surprising really, since wholesale car ownership didn’t exist there until 5-10 years ago. They are nowhere near as bad as the Turks though.

    • 0 avatar

      Racism much?

    • 0 avatar

      Well, racism or not, there’s a lot of truth to that.

      East Asians and Indians make up the majority of immigrants to the West. Most of these will be the upper-income types (rich enough to buy a plane ticket to the West) in their home countries, which means they either lived in the megacities and took the subway/bus or had enough money for a driver (esp India). In any case, a lot of these immigrants did not grow up driving cars or have any concept of traffic rules and such.

      Imagine learning to ride a bike for the first time when you’re in your 30s. Now imagine learning to drive when you’re in your 30s.

  • avatar

    So when that many fishing vessels start running aground and into each other, which coast guard are they going to call?

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      They’ll call Mayday or SOS on an international marine band. Someone probably ordered the 1000 boats to go there and is coordinating the show. Or not, they’re still good sailors. Sorry to be a wet blanket.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Uh, my above post was for Challenger; I’m having a bad day.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Just speaking for myself. I didn’t put up with racial jokes on the job site, in the military or cubicle land. You pretty much tell someone you have no respect for a race when you make jokes about them.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 @ elscotto:

      ‘Racist’ thoughts are for the least intelligent of our society. I’ve read your posts over time, and have found them to be nothing but objective.

      We all have bad days, but you are still respectful to most (who are not oversensitive). Just sayin’ :)

  • avatar

    Chances are many of the boats aren’t even manned by fishermen but are instead manned by the Chinese army or navy and are playing at being fishermen.

    They’ve done things like that before, no reason to believe they aren’t doing the samething now.

  • avatar

    No divine wind, but to clean up and paraphrase what my ancestors would say ‘its about start raining excrement.’ China is attempting to be provacative with a benign civilian face. Other than public apologies and resignations of high ranking public officials, I’m not sure what Japan will do with any clarity in this situation.

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    Unlike certain other countries with delicate sensibilities, Japan gave up suicide bombing in the 40’s(Many “volunteers” were less than willing,but what were they gonna do,file a complaint with H.R.?). China,a nation of only children and many international business relations,is unlikely to try any “Great Leap Forward” militarily here. After a brief display of mutual over the head military dick waving,businessmen will step in to hammer out better terms for the Chinese,followed by a round of boozing,a little karaoke,and hookers(Good times,good,good times!). Japan may decide to up its share of defense spending,along with South Korea finally deciding that maybe kicking down some more bones towards it own defense is a good idea.A Samsung missile featuring CCDT(Crystal Clear Destruction Technology) would be more than a match for NoKo’s um, Cuddly(?)Leader,and his batch of Typodong(Phonics=funny!) missiles.

  • avatar

    China will never have a “real” auto industry or auto market until they stop stealing intellectual property and start playing by everyone else’s rules to build and sell in their country… or constantly intimidating their closest neighbors.

    Why we don’t see this nation as a threat, but rather as an ALLY and trading partner is a mystery to me… no wait it isn’t.

    Our only hope is that the Chinese people who aren’t fervently chugging the Commie Kool Aid will throw off the chains.

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