By on September 27, 2012

Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho was sitting in his company jet, ready to go to Beijing for talks with the Chinese leadership, but the jet never got off the ground. After Chinese aviation authorities refused landing permission in Beijing, Cho left his plane and went home, NHK reports.

A day before, a group of Japanese business leaders  canceled a trip to Beijing. Cho wanted to go alone, together with Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Japan’s Keidanren business lobby and chairman of Sumitomo Chemical.

Japan’s auto executives prepare for a lasting decrease of business with China. According to The Nikkei [sub], Toyota, Nissan and Honda make a total of roughly 10,000 units in China daily, generating around 5 billion yen ($64 million) in daily profits (split 50:50 with the Chinese). 25% of Nissan’s net profit are said to come from China, compared with 21% at Toyota and 16% at Honda.

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37 Comments on “Now It’s Personal: China Puts Down Toyota Chairman...”

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    It’s kind of scary how it seems nowadays the one or all of the J3 are encountering problems that arise beyond their control. Or indeed problems that no one could even predict or account for.

    I certainly hope they show their resilience one more time and bounce back again when (if?) this issue subsides.

    • 0 avatar
      juicy sushi

      They’ve certainly shown a lot of resilience to the past few years, but a permanently locked off market would be a tough challenge. I could see a large movement of production out of China as a result though. Perhaps, they could keep just enough onshore to avoid tarrifs and then move all the rest to more amenable locations, like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

      • 0 avatar

        but they dont export the cars out of china, so why would they move the production out? Japanese car companies lose would lose a lot of money.

        but electronics?

        Thats certaonly a possible problem for Chinese, as many Japanese companies produce products there to export. In a few years they can easily produce elsewhere…

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        And I think that’s the hidden truth that some people below have been discussing. This is all showboating on the part of the Chinese government to divert attention away from their slipping economy.

        If Japan begins pulling production out of China (massively $$ prohibitive as you said) and relocating to surrounding areas as JS mentioned, China will feel the hit no matter how much bravado they continue to exhibit.

        The question is who will bend first. But it may be a scenario where it will blow over, though the “emotional” damage may be long term.

  • avatar

    More cars built here in the US would be nice.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    This is getting uglier by the day and soon could escalate out of control…
    What are they going to do next? Recall ambassadors?

    The new East Asia “powers” haven’t learned a thing from the last-century history of the former European ones.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    I mean the last thing all these newly rich government officials/businessmen want is the gravy train to be over all for something like this. Yes I know all about the history of what Japan did in and around WWII not only to China but other Asian countries. However there is still money to be made and I just cannot understand why the Chinese are allowing this to escalate to this point.

    I must obviously be missing something.

    • 0 avatar

      Divert attention.

      Not unlike the American war on terror after the NASDAQ crash.

      • 0 avatar

        I think wsn is correct. The Chinese Government is no longer a Communist government since they believe, to some extent, in the free market and making money. So they fall back on being a nationalist dictatorship. It will distract people for a while but their system is built on a weak foundation. Time will tell.

      • 0 avatar

        Seemed to me that the American war on terror had a lot more to do with the WTC crash (es).

      • 0 avatar

        Also establishment of a permanent military presence on the rich Iraqi oil fields and control of the global opium/heroin trade.

      • 0 avatar

        A diversion while China’s government is going through a changing of the guard might make sense to the Chinese. It’s also not quite the thing to do when China’s neighbors are already wary of her flexing muscle against smaller nations around the South China Sea. Asian countries might just forget their own history with Japan and side against China. I can see the Japanese auto industry dominating the market around China and closing off a huge market for future Chinese exports.

      • 0 avatar

        “Also establishment of a permanent military presence on the rich Iraqi oil fields and control of the global opium/heroin trade.”

        Yeaaahhhh…I can’t wait for my next Iraq deployment…oh yeah, we left…so much for that first part,

  • avatar

    This happens all the time in business, but usually not this hamfisted and blunt. As a Canadian, this level of open contempt existed for many years, back and forth, between our current government and the Chinese until the lure of trade and markets was too much to remain petty for long.

  • avatar

    Nippon should do the honourable thing, settle the little island in the right way.

    As the white folks say it ” Missing forest for the trees”

    70 some yrs later the Sick man of Asia has kind of recuperated.
    Some justice should be done for the Nanking disaster! Nippon never admitted the mistakes to this day.
    And yours truly had almost never came to this world.
    As the Imperial Army was rounding up their Pleasure gals, some orificer had picked on my late Mom, told her to stand up and perhaps going to let the higher to do the 2nd pick.
    My Aunt just pulled Mommy to sat down, so my Mommy was spared, if it had happened my eldest bro would have no Mom, my late Dad would have been a single parent. My bro wasn’t all that old then , he was born in 43. My Mommy had lived till 07.
    I am sure many many more stories were never heard of in the Western world.
    In one story a German merchant was living in Nanking, he saw the happening, when he went back to Fatherland, he reported to the German authorities, no soon enuf some Gestapo went to told him to keep quiet.
    I am not trying to exact the revenge, but atleast own up to admitting one’s fault.

    • 0 avatar

      If it’s not the islands, then it will be something else. It would be a mistake to think that handing over the islands will smooth over the grievances. I have yet to see a government ‘apology’ (how can you truly apologize for something your forebearers committed?)please everybody. It’s not about territory and it’s not about redress. If it were about redress, then it would be separate from these rocks. If China truly cared about redress, then it would be far nobler to talk about it outside of the context of rocks.

      There’s a reason why Lenin used the term “useful idiots” in times like this…. Does anybody notice that world strife is stirring up because of political troubles at home? Amazing how the Iran rhetoric just so automatically scales up during a US election and also at a time when Iran is about to lose a valuable ally in Syria. Or did anybody else notice that the Chinese economy is very palpably slowing and that the government leadership transition is going far from smoothly?

      • 0 avatar

        You may never please “everybody”, but the Japanese government hasn’t even attempted to please “anybody”

        The Canadian government set a precedent by apologizing for the racist Head Tax policy from the 1800s.
        If we can do it, Japan can (and should) do it.

        And if they apologize as well as (rightly) recognizing that these islands are Taiwanese (or Chinese) territory, that defuses a large part of the anger and distrust the Chinese (in an ethnic sense) have towards Japan (and thus, deprive the CCP of a reliable attention-diverting tactic)

        I mean, China’s not even the only one squabbling with Japan over illegitimate land claims. South Korea is involved in a spat over the Dokdo Islands with Japan as well.

      • 0 avatar

        The way Germany and Japan went ahead and addressed their WWII atrocities were totally different.

      • 0 avatar

        These islands have nothing to do with WW2 and everything to do with oil. Too frequently any dispute the communist part has against Japan is framed against Japanese wartime atrocities in WW2.

        They were claimed in the late 1800s when basically Japanese surveyors landed there and deemed it Terra nullius (land belonging to no one). No one ever lived there, and it was a bunch of useless rocks. Nobody made a peep of complaint or contested it as it really was just a bunch of rocks and modern UN exclusive economic zone rules didn’t exist.

        The Chinese first laid their official claim to those islands in the 1970s after oil was found by UN surveillance ships in 1968. China has since dug up maps from some museum claiming that its ‘sacred fishing ground’ for the Chinese since the 1500s.

        The owners of the islands, which had them since 1896 and recently sold them to the Japanese government, used to run a fish processing plant there which housed upto 2,000 workers at one point. This is the first and only time in the islands history where it was inhabited.

        The US took control of those islands, along with Okinawa, after the Japanese surrender. Bombed them to frequently for practice. And in 1972, those islands and Okinawa were handed to Japan by the US according to the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

        Through out the 50s & 60s, Chinese state-controlled media and textbooks refereed to those island as Japanese. This whole island spat has to do with one thing and thing only: OIL.

    • 0 avatar

      Doesn’t the Bible say “Forgive them the sins of their fathers”? As a boomer, I have grown weary of everyone bashing Japan and Germany for WWII. It was over long ago and the vast majority of the perpetrators are dead. It’s like me hating the English for Oliver Cromwell.

  • avatar

    70 year old grievances aside, Japan bashing will be a lose, lose proposition, if not only China’s neighbors, but international investors get spooked as well.

    It may be good domestic politics for the Chinese leadership to play up nationalism to detract from an economy experiencing lackluster growth.

    Unfortunately, they are playing right into the hands of Japanese nationalist and the possibility Japanese rearmament.

    • 0 avatar

      Having the Japanese re-arm is fine by me.

      The US commitment to be there for everyone gets old and expensive.

      The US should do what’s right for the US and in the interests of the US. We should pull the plug in Europe, Japan, South Korea (I know we are not there in #s like we used to be) unless those countries are willing to pick up more of the tab. If not, US officials Dem or Rep should say why it is so important to try to be everywhere. Oil, raw materials? Fine, but at least have the guts to say so. Enough of this “our friends and allies”. Our friends and allies always let us pick up the check.

      Using 2008 #s:
      The US spends 4.3% of GDP on the military. Japan .9%, UK 2.5%, France 2.3%, Germany 1.3%, South Korea 2.8%. The South Koreans share a border with nut jobs who lob bombs over the border on a semi-regular basis and spend less based on GDP then we do.

      • 0 avatar

        “Having the Japanese re-arm is fine by me.”

        Feel like having a rematch?

        “The US spends 4.3% of GDP on the military.”

        Empires are expensive to maintain, just ask the Soviets, British, or the Ottomans.

  • avatar

    You know, a handful of bomb tests could settle this whole Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands thing for good. There’s nobody on them, after all, and the largest one is less than 5 square kilometers, and only a few hundred feet above sea level.

    I’m just saying.

    • 0 avatar

      ya another Bikini atoll.

      then it’ll screw up lots more than everything.
      your attitude is as long is NIMBY.

    • 0 avatar

      Does anyone inhabit these islands?

      Bikini WAS inhabited by the way, the natives eventually came back.

      Here’s a fun fact, the Bikini islanders legally own the ships which were sunk there, which IIRC is the only instance of the US Navy giving up ownership of any of it’s sunken vessels.

    • 0 avatar

      You are aware that there actually were bomb test on those islands. The US used to bomb them for target practice for decades while they administered it until 1972.

      Technically, if the US recognizes Chinese claims, they were bombing Chinese territory.

      Either way, the first time Chinese or Taiwanese claimed the territory was after 1968 when oil was found.

      • 0 avatar

        I find the Chinese claiming some historic right to this (and other) islands in the area ridiculous. Using that kind of logic, Rome could claim ownership of the British Isles. No international court would take their claim seriously.

        The international law of the sea has something to say about coastal waters and exclusive economic zones – this treaty (which China is a signatory to) clearly shows the contested islands to belong to other countries, not China.

        It’s all about oil; there might be some under these islands so suddenly they’ve become very important. China hasn’t thought it out very well, though: their economy is totally dependent on foreign trade with countries they’re threatening. There’s no reason your electronics couldn’t be made in some other third world country just as cheaply, and even if there’s a massive oil field under one of those islands it’s small change compared to the loss of foreign business and becoming a rogue country when they violate the international treaty.

        It’s not just Japanese territory they’re claiming as theirs; they also claim islands belonging to Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc. The Chinese government isn’t being very wise.

  • avatar

    70 year old grievances aside

    if u’re not on the receiving end, u’ll never appreciate the pain the others going thru.

    the island itself is a real thorny issue, the upside for Nippon is only a remote distance issue, when is it going to see any pay off?

    Canada & USA had a conflict once, that was San Juan Island WA.
    It was only after a small piggy went astray. Conflict did gave rise.
    To this day there is an American camp and Canadian camp on the opposite side of the Island.
    It was settled on a International tribunal, was awarded to Uncle Sam.

  • avatar

    It’s only a matter of time until the US does something that the Chinese will find it convenient to be outraged by. US brands will suffer like the Japanese ones today.

    Which is good for the Europeans, I suppose: unlike the US and Japan, they don’t have many interests that directly conflict with China’s.

  • avatar

    “shit is getting personal!”

    -Stringer Bell

  • avatar

    The US needs to pick China over Japan which is a fading nation with an aging population and a nuclear disaster worse than Chernobyl. The rest of Asia hates Japan as much as China does. America needs to quit hanging with this pariah nation. It’s not like they occupied foxholes with us for ages like France, the UK and Canada. Japan didn’t even send troops to Iraq or Afghanistan like Germany, Italy, Spain or former Soviet nations did.

    • 0 avatar

      You make some good points but its not as if the Chinese are our friends or allies… unless its a matter of keep your friends close and enemies closer then spot on.

    • 0 avatar

      Once again Bill your ignorance shines through. You cannot see past your racist hatred for Japan. Which baffles me because it’s a great place to visit. Not all of Asia hates Japan. If you want to talk about being hated, you’re in the right country. American is the most hated country bar none. Japan not so much.

      Also, Japan did sends troops to Iraq. I was there. And yes, we did use Toyota trucks in Afghanistan too.

      Read these. You hear anyone speak in such high regard for a chrysler like they did about those Tacos/Hiluxs. You really are a lost soul.

      You love and support chrysler which is owned by Italy. FYI, the Italians and Japanese were part of the axis in WWII. Italy was a major player is WWII too sending 320,000 troops. After WWII Japan and Italy sent support for the USA in every major war. Please for the love of God read a history book.

      You state you want the USA to pick China over Japan? Did you know that China supported the North Vietnam Army who American was fighting against during the Vietnam War? Did you know that China supported Korea during the Korean War?
      You are clueless.

  • avatar

    I think you are wrong on Japanese forces in Iraq. I distinctly remember them when I was in Baghdad. I don’t think they did Combat patrols, but not many countries other than us did. The partner nations are a little more involved in Afghanistan as that stuff goes, but then again this is a NATO mission now and Japan is not a member nation. You know who wasn’t in either place though? That’s right…China. Unless you count scooping up a bunch of oil contracts in Iraq after our departure. Not here in the Stahn either despite sharing a border with this Nation.

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