Japan-China Tensions Cut Japanese Visits to Beijing in Half
Violent protests against the Japanese government's plans for the East China Sea islands. Here, the Beijing International Airport. Jorge Láscar / Flickr
Since only economic pain would be likely to move the Chinese government to quell these protests, perhaps the drop in tourism business will get its attention.
China says the number of Japanese tourists visiting Beijing fell by more than half in the first six months of the year amid a spike in tensions between the countries.
Beijing’s statistics bureau said Sunday that 136,000 Japanese tourists visited the capital between January and July. That was down 53.7 per cent from the same period last year.
The drop follows violent anti-Japanese protests in Beijing and several other Chinese cities in September in response to complaints from the government over Japan’s move to nationalise uninhabited East China Sea islands claimed by China. Japanese businesses were torched and Japanese-brand cars were smashed despite their having been locally made.
There were also scattered reports of assaults on Japanese citizens, although none of the attacks were serious.