Yet when anti-Japan demonstrations erupted across China in 2005 over an accumulation of post-war political disputes, former Chinese commerce minister Bo Xilai warned the boycott would jeopardize China's economic development as joint ventures are rampant and Japanese firms employ some 1.5 million locals.
Chinese authorities squelched the protests that year in part to avoid damaging economic ties. But Bo Xilai has been ex-communicated. Is anyone listening now?
The Japan External Trade Organization office in Beijing is still tallying up business losses from this month's demonstrations and boycotts. It's busy phoning up some of the 4,619 Japanese subsidiaries in mainland China and estimating a toll from cancelled travel plans.
JETRO doesn't expect to report dramatic losses yet but warns of a lag effect that's obvious in six to 12 months even if anti-Japan activity dies down before then. "Direct losses are hard to estimate but may not be too huge for now, yet from today forward we might see something different," JETRO specialist She Xing told me this week. In 2005, he adds, "the government handled protests in a rational manner."At least 19 massive Japanese firms are listed in New York, putting their shares at risk if their properties, workforces or sales take a sustained hit. Violent mid-September protests in various Chinese cities prompted temporary closure of many Japanese businesses in China, Capital Economics says. It names Panasonic (PC) and global camera maker Canon (CAJ) plus three signature automakers, Toyota Motor (TM), Honda (HMC) and Nissan (NSANY). These firms are on the move in China. Toyota hopes to double sagging China sales by 2015 with sales of hybrids and cheaper cars, a Japanese business paper, Nikkei said earlier this month. Chinese local governments are keen on putting drivers into hybrids as pollution stifles the air. Panasonic is aiming for sales growth in China from 8.5 billion yen in fiscal 2011 to 25 billion yen in fiscal 2015 with what it describes as a full-scale entry into the "Chinese housing equipment and construction market" this year. Shares for these automakers and electronics firms have fallen 3% to more than 9% since Sept. 14, the day before mass demonstrations swept China.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV