BEIJING – Hurtful words and actions by Japan and its politicians are partly to blame for the way Chinese trade with Japan has been slumping since early this year, a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman said Friday.
In the first seven months, bilateral trade fell 8.8 percent year-on-year to $174 billion, spokesman Shen Danyang said, saying China’s imports of Japanese goods sank 13.2 percent to $90.81 billion and exports to Japan fell 3.5 percent to $83.19 billion.
Shen said a recent analysis by his ministry identified three main factors for the decline in Sino-Japanese trade.
Among them, he said, “wrong words and actions” by the Japanese government and its politicians have “seriously hurt the feelings of Chinese people” and turned Chinese consumers away from Japanese goods, sparking declines in car, appliance and machinery parts sales.
Trade between the world’s second- and third-largest economies has fallen sharply since Japan effectively nationalized the Senkaku islets last September.
Another factor Shen cited was the U.S. and EU market slumps, which he said chilled demand for Chinese goods and pressured China’s imports of raw materials and components from Japan.