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Protests hit Japanese goods

By Wang Xinyuan (Global Times)

08:29, September 17, 2012

Chinese consumers demanded boycott of Japanese products and services Sunday in the wake of Japan's recent nationalization of part of China's Diaoyu Islands, according to media reports over the weekend.

Many consumers posted comments on 360buy.com Sunday asking the online retailer to stop selling these products.

"I officially inform you that I will never be your customer and buy any products on your website if you continue selling Japanese brands," an angry customer said Sunday in a comment posted in response to a Nikon 3200 camera promotion on 360buy.com.

Photos of home appliance retailers Suning and Gome were also shared on Weibo Sunday with some of their stores in Zhejiang, Ningxia and Hubei posting notices of "no sales of Japanese brands".

While 360buy could not be reached for comment Sunday, public relations executives from Suning and Gome told the Global Times that there was no official announcement yet for suspension of the sale of Japanese products.

News portal chinanews.com.cn reported Friday that some e-commerce websites had denounced Japanese products following Japan's recent decision to "purchase" part of China's Diaoyu Islands, a move regarded as an infringement of China's sovereignty.

A message was rapidly circulated on Weibo stating that thousands of Japanese manufactures will go bankrupt if China doesn't buy Japanese products for one month; half of Japanese workers will lose jobs if China doesn't buy Japanese products for half year; and the Japanese economy will collapse if China doesn't buy Japanese products for a year.

Many customers canceled their scheduled sightseeing tours in Japan, and sales of Japanese home appliances such as Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and Sanyo television sets collapsed 21 to 40 percent in August month-on-month, the official Securities Times newspaper reported Friday.

Japanese car sales in China had slowed in August, and the impact was related to the recent political dispute between the two countries, Reuters reported on September 10 quoting Dong Yang, secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers and chief operating officer at Nissan.

Japan's illegal purchase of Diaoyu Islands will likely prompt China to impose economic sanctions against Japan, according to chinanews.com.cn.

"China has the ability to make Japan pay a heavy price in a trade war" in view of Japan's higher reliance on exports to China, according to Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a think tank under the Ministry of Commerce.

Japan's exports to China accounted for about 23.7 percent of Japan's total exports in 2011, while China's exports to Japan were only 7.8 percent of its total exports last year, Mei said citing China Customs data.

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