Aug 26, 2013

    China-Japan trade and travel in a slump

    FOREIGN trade between China and Japan slumped 8.8 per cent year-on-year in the seven months from January to last month, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

    Mr Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, attributed the decline to three factors.

    The first reason behind the drop is the drag from sluggish economies in Europe and the United States. Chinese manufacturers have reduced their imports of raw materials and parts from Japan, said Mr Shen.

    The second is the yuan's appreciation against the yen, which made China's goods and services more expensive for Japanese importers, he said.

    The third is lingering tensions from Japan's move to nationalise uninhabited East China Sea islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

    The number of Japanese tourists visiting Beijing fell by more than half in the first seven months of the year, amid a spike in tensions between the countries, the city's statistical bureau said yesterday.

    Japanese-tourist arrivals this year fell to 136,000 up to the end of last month, down 53.7 per cent from the same period last year, the bureau said.

    The decline in Japanese visitors was part of an overall 13.9 per cent decline in tourist arrivals blamed on the sluggish global economy, as well as a spike in Beijing's notoriously bad air pollution.