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Fitch: Island dispute could hit Japan tech, auto

By WEI TIAN  (China Daily)

08:25, September 19, 2012

The ratings of major Japanese automakers and technology companies may come under pressure if the dispute between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands escalates and is prolonged, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday.

A number of Japanese companies, including Panasonic Corp, have temporarily suspended production at some of their Chinese facilities as anti-Japanese demonstrations demanding a boycott of their products flared across 85 cities in China over the weekend.

The ratings agency said that Japanese companies' sales and reputation with Chinese consumers will likely be affected, at least in the short term. However, there is little visibility on the extent to which their sales in China might be affected, and how long the anti-Japanese protests may continue, it said.

Sharp Corp and Nissan Motor Co have the highest sales exposure to China among Japanese corporates rated by Fitch.

During the fiscal year ended in March 2012, Sharp's sales from China represented 20 percent of its total sales.

Panasonic and Sony Corp's revenue exposure to China was significant at 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively, during the fiscal year 2012.

Nissan has the highest exposure among the Japanese automakers rated by Fitch. China absorbed about 26 percent of its global car sales during the fiscal year 2012. Honda and Toyota's exposure to China was also significant at about 20 percent and 10 percent of their respective total global unit sales during the same period.
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