Japan firms want Abe to cool it on China; see demand ebbing: Reuters poll

Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:41am EDT
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By Izumi Nakagawa

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese companies are concerned about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's forceful diplomacy with neighbors like China, at a time when demand from Asia's giant appears to be ebbing, a Reuters survey showed.

More than half the executives in the Reuters Corporate Survey said demand from China is peaking or declining.

The survey showed a quarter are concerned about the impact of Abe's approach to foreign policy, which has inflamed tensions with China and South Korea. Forty-six percent said it has not affected them, and 29 percent said they were unsure.

Japan's ties with China and Korea have worsened over bilateral territorial disputes and a feeling in Seoul and Beijing that Tokyo has not atoned for its wartime aggression, especially with Abe's December visit to the Yasukuni shrine, which Japan's neighbors consider a symbol of its wartime and colonial brutality.


"On territorial issues, it's natural to protect Japan's interests and positions," said an executive at an electrical equipment company.

"But I would like to see more humility regarding issues that are sensitive not only for China and Korea, but globally, like the understanding of history, the Yasukuni Shrine visit and the place of Tokyo war crimes tribunals," the executive said.   Continued...

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks next to the Japanese national flag, attached with a black ribbon to mourn victims during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo March 10, 2014, a day before the third anniversary of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that struck the nation's northeast. REUTERS/Issei Kato