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RichA 09-17-2012 07:39 AM

I wonder if this will hold up the GH3?
 
17 September 2012 Last updated at 01:50 ET
China protests: Panasonic suspends some operations

Japanese electronics maker Panasonic has suspended some of its
operations in China after anti-Japan protesters attacked two of its
factories.

The firm said its factory in Qingdao will remain shut until 18
September.

According to media reports, Canon has also suspended operations at
three of its Chinese factories.

The attacks are a part of wider protests that have spread across China
and hurt other firms, including Toyota.

They started after Japan said it had agreed a deal to buy a chain of
disputed islands in East China Sea from their private Japanese owner.

China has maintained its sovereignty over the islands which are also
claimed by Taiwan.

A spokesperson for Panasonic told the BBC that the firm would continue
to monitor the situation over the next two days.
'Directly affected'

The disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan,
are uninhabited but resource-rich.

They have been a contentious issue between the two countries, and were
the focus of a major diplomatic row between them in 2010.

The dispute flared up again over the weekend after Tokyo said it had
agreed to purchase them, leading to thousands of protesters taking to
the streets in various parts of China.

The demonstrations saw protesters burning Japanese flags and targeting
Japanese-made cars.

There have been reports of a Toyota dealership in China being damaged
during the demonstrations.

On Monday, the Bloomberg news agency reported that Canon had also
suspended operations in three of its factories in China until 18
September.

Canon did not immediately respond to a query from the BBC to confirm
the reports.

Analysts said the dispute had started to affect Japanese firms
operating in China.

"We are definitely seeing that Japanese companies are being directly
affected by the protests," Shaun Rein of China Market Research Group
told the BBC.
Bigger impact?

The attacks on some Japanese businesses have raised fears about the
impact of the protests on Japanese investment in China.

Analysts said that China, which was known for being a low-cost
manufacturing base, has seen a steady rise in labour costs in recent
times, negating a big advantage it had on other countries in the
region.

They said that the protests could result in some Japanese firms
starting to look beyond China for further expansion.

"They might want to consider expanding manufacturing operations in
Thailand or in other nations that are more welcoming towards Japanese
investment," said Mr Rein of China Market Research Group.

He warned that such moves might have an impact on China's economic
growth and also on the overall trade ties between Asia's two biggest
economies.

"The trade relations are going to be damaged by the continuing
protests, for sure."


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