BEIJING – Sluggish sales of Japanese cars in China in August can be attributed to the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, according to the vice chairman of the semiofficial China Passenger Car Association.
“(The poor sales) are related to the circumstances surrounding the Diaoyu Islands,” Dong Yang said Monday at a news conference, referring to the islets by their Chinese name.
“If (Japan) does not yield on the territorial issue, cooperating over the economy will be difficult,” Dong said, implying that the Japanese auto industry may continue to suffer if the dispute in the East China Sea is not resolved in China’s favor.
According to the Shanghai-based association, sales of German cars rose 26.5 percent, U.S. cars by 19.9 percent, and South Korean cars by 13.0 percent compared with August last year.
Sales of Japanese cars meanwhile declined 2 percent.
Earlier this year, sales of Japanese cars in China were growing around 10 percent per month on average.
By automaker, Nissan Motor Co. saw a 0.6 percent increase in sales in August, while Toyota Motor Corp. suffered a 15.1 percent drop and Honda Motor Co. enjoyed a 14.9 percent increase.
Anti-Japan demonstrations broke out in major Chinese cities last month, with some protesters vandalizing Japanese-brand vehicles, after Japanese authorities detained a group of Chinese activists who briefly landed on one of the uninhabited islets controlled by China.