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Island spat takes toll on Japan
Economy falls as angry Chinese cancel flights, boycott autos
Question of the Day
The quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan last year hobbled the economy for months. Auto production was hard hit because parts suppliers had been located in the disaster area.
Subsequent flooding in Thailand added to the automakers’ woes. They had only bounced back toward the end of last year, after months of rebuilding.
Ayumi Kunimatu, spokeswoman for the Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways, said 43,000 seats had been canceled for flights from September through the end of November — 28,000 of them from China to Japan and 15,000 from Japan to China.
Up to now, Chinese fliers had accounted for a quarter of the airline’s international passengers.
A person who answered at China International Travel Service in Beijing confirmed that group tours to Japan had been called off. The Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported that more than 100,000 Chinese canceled Japanese trips, and the number of tour groups to Japan had plunged by 40 percent.
The tourism fallout to hot springs and ski resorts is likely to deal a serious blow to Japan’s regional economies, which already are more vulnerable to such slowdowns.
By Michael P. Orsi
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