Chinese Christian Converts Flee Peking during the Boxer Rebellion.
(T)he damage to Japan’s business interests in China was substantial. More than a dozen Japanese companies halted operations in the country as fire bombings, sabotage, and looting took their toll. Manufacturers Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Yamaha, Komatsu, Hitachi, and Canon shuttered plants. Panasonic locked the doors of a factory after employees broke windows, ruined equipment, and set fires. Retailers Aeon, Fast Retailing, Ryohin Keikaku, and Seven & I closed stores.Japanese tourists are canceling trips to China, and hard-hit Panasonic is, not surprisingly, reducing business trips from Japan to the country. As a result, Japan Airlines reduced flights to and from Chinese destinations. It halved Tokyo-Beijing and Osaka-Shanghai flights, for example. All Nippon Airways reported an increase in cancellations on its flights from China to Japan. And it is not only Japanese carriers that have been hurt. China Eastern, China’s second-biggest airline, is delaying the October 18 start of its Shanghai-Sendai route due to insufficient bookings. .
And Tokyo is beginning to realize there is no appeasing Chinese leaders. On the 14th, the official China Daily, by making a reference to Kume in the Ryukyus, laid the historical groundwork for raising a claim on that Japanese island chain, which is near the Senkakus. Said Hissho Yanai, a Japanese activist, to the New York Times, “If we let them have the Senkaku Islands, they’ll come after all of Okinawa next.”In fact, Beijing officials have talked about taking the Ryukyus after they get the Senkakus. And we should not think the Chinese are limiting their anger to the Japanese. Last week’s events have been compared, in their intensity and their aims, to the anti-foreigner Boxer Rebellion, which began just at the end of the 19th century.That, unfortunately, is a historical parallel we should remember. Rioters on Tuesday attacked and damaged the car of American ambassador Gary Locke while he was in it.China at the moment is unstable, and that puts foreign businesses there—not to mention the Chinese economy—at risk.