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2012年9月24日 (月)

中国威圧外交 リスク増大で日本の投資減も

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 24, 2012)
Anti-Japan stance may curb investment in China
中国威圧外交 リスク増大で日本の投資減も(9月23日付・読売社説)

Anti-Japan demonstrations in cities around China to protest the Japanese government's purchase of the Senkaku Islands have mostly calmed down.

However, it is a problem that the Chinese government is escalating its overbearing approach in diplomacy.

Chinese authorities banned demonstrations in Beijing after Tuesday, which marked the 81st anniversary of the Liutiaohu bombing incident that prefaced the Manchurian Incident.

The authorities apparently became wary that continuing to allow the demonstrations could threaten social stability because some of them developed into riots.

But we are concerned that Chinese President Hu Jintao and other national leaders have made a series of hard-line statements against Japan. Premier Wen Jiabao said in Brussels, where the China-European Union summit meeting was held, that China "must take strong measures," referring to the Japanese government's purchase of the Senkaku Islands.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who will succeed Hu at the upcoming National Congress of the Communist Party of China, also said some groups in Japan repeated mistakes and "staged the farce" of purchasing the islands.

They apparently were expressing their determination to make no concessions at all to Japan.


Doing business in China risky

However, we believe it was to the Chinese side's disadvantage that the demonstrations have made Japanese companies keenly realize the risks of doing business in China.

Resumption of operations is being delayed at some of the Japanese factories in China attacked by demonstrators. The Chinese side has not shown any willingness to pay compensation for damage caused during the protests. The Japanese nonlife insurance sector estimated that insurance payouts to the damaged companies would reach 10 billion yen in total. That eventually might raise insurance fees of the companies.

It is also a matter of concern that strikes for pay raises are occurring frequently at Japanese-affiliated plants in Guangdong and other provinces in China.

We understand why one Japanese business leader after another is expressing wariness about investment in China, saying they must be cautious.

Japanese firms have placed much value on China as the factory of the world and increased their investment in that country. Such investment reached a total of 6.3 billion dollars last year, up 50 percent from the previous year. This contrasts with U.S. investment in China, which fell 26 percent last year to a mere 3 billion dollars.


Millions work at Japan firms

Such aggressive investment by Japanese companies is sustaining China's employment and economy. It is estimated that several million Chinese work at Japanese-affiliated companies in China.

The violent anti-Japan demonstrations have trampled on cooperative relations between China and Japan that have been nurtured over many years.

It is highly likely that Japanese companies will sharply curb their investment in China and instead increase investment in other Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand.

Because the Chinese economy is continuing to slow down due to a decrease in exports and other factors, China's real economic growth rate this year is expected to drop below 8 percent. It is certain that--depending on the investment strategy of Japanese companies--downward pressure could further increase on the Chinese economy, negatively affecting employment there.

China should realize that continuing its hard line against Japan could boomerang to its own disadvantage.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 23, 2012)
(2012年9月23日01時13分  読売新聞)


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