TOKYO — The craggy island specks in the East China Sea aren’t even an economic backwater. They have no factories, no highways, no shops, no people – only goats.
But the high-pitched row between Beijing and Tokyo over their ownership is exacting a growing toll on Japan, threatening to send its recovery from last year’s disasters into reverse.
Sales of Japanese cars in China are in a free-fall. At the China Open last weekend, a representative of Sony Corp., which is a sponsor of the tennis tournament, was booed loudly at the title presentation for the women’s final.
The business and economic shock waves come after Japan last month nationalized the tiny islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which already were under Tokyo’s control but also are claimed by Beijing.
Seeing footage of Toyota cars getting smashed by angry rioters, Toyota President Akio Toyoda looked almost tearful, confiding to reporters: “I couldn’t bear to watch. It hurt as though I was getting beaten.”
The export of auto parts will slip by 40 percent — about the same drop estimated for exports of other consumer products, such as electronics, the report said.
The aftermath of the latest phase of the territorial spat with China will cause Japan’s economy, the world’s third-biggest, to shrink 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, according to J.P. Morgan. It previously had forecast no growth in the quarter.
J.P. Morgan chief economist Masaaki Kanno fears the fallout could get worse in the months ahead, as the September sales numbers for Japanese automakers only account for damage that started the middle of the month.
China sales for Nissan Motor Co. slid 35 percent last month to 76,100 vehicles.
“What we have ahead of us is going to be terrible,” he said. “It’s like last year’s disaster all over again.”View Entire Story
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Sometimes life requires a paradigm twist.
We all eat, and food should be fun and healthful. Food Commune celebrates the food we eat, the people we eat with and the spirits we enjoy.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall