Posts tagged ‘China and Japan’

14/12/2014

Set aside hate, China’s Xi says on Nanjing Massacre anniversary | Reuters

China and Japan should set aside hatred and not allow the minority who led Japan to war to affect relations now, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday, as the country marked its first national memorial day for the Nanjing Massacre.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and other leaders attend a memorial ceremony at the Nanjing Massacre Museum in Nanjing, Jiangsu province December 13, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

China and Japan have long sparred over their painful history. China consistently reminds its people of the 1937 massacre in which it says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in its then capital.

A postwar Allied tribunal put the death toll at 142,000, but some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place at all.

Ties had deteriorated sharply over the past year following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine honoring war criminals among Japan’s war dead. The two are also involved in a spat over islets in the East China Sea.

But both countries, mindful of the economic stakes, reached agreement last month to try to reset ties during an ice-breaking meeting between Xi and Abe in Beijing.

Speaking at a memorial in the eastern city of Nanjing, a somber Xi said that while history must never be forgotten, the future was just as important.

“The reason we are having a memorial for the Nanjing Massacre victims is to recall that all good-hearted people yearn for and hold fast to peace, not to prolong hatred,” Xi said, in comments carried live on state television.

“The people of China and Japan should pass on friendship from generation to generation,” he added.

“Forgetting history is a betrayal, and denying a crime is to repeat a crime. We should not hate a people just because a small minority of militarists set off an invasion and war.

“… but nobody at any time should forget the severe crimes of the invaders.”

Doves to signify peace flew overhead once Xi, wearing a white flower on his lapel to signify mourning, finished speaking.

Next year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, and China has already promised memorials, offering the potential for further Sino-Japanese friction.

In recent days, China has released heart-rending accounts of the violence from its archives.

“With the issue of history having become an unavoidable hurdle in Japan’s relations with neighbors, the best way for the island nation to proceed is sincere acknowledgement and repentance of its war-time past, rather than futile attempts to reject it,” the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

via Set aside hate, China’s Xi says on Nanjing Massacre anniversary | Reuters.

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07/11/2014

China, Japan set aside isle row, paving way for leaders to meet | Reuters

China and Japan agreed on Friday to work on improving ties and signaled willingness to put a bitter row over disputed islands on the back burner, paving the way for their leaders to meet at an Asian-Pacific summit next week.

The agreement, ahead of an expected ice-breaking chat between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gathering in Beijing, signals a thaw in ties between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies.

Relations have been soured over the past two years by the territorial row, regional rivalry and the bitter legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation of China.

Abe said the two sides were making final arrangements for one-on-one talks, although neither he nor China’s foreign ministry confirmed that the talks were set.

“Both Japan and China are coming to the view that it would benefit not just the two countries but regional stability if a summit is held,” he told a TV program.

via China, Japan set aside isle row, paving way for leaders to meet | Reuters.

21/08/2014

Cognac Makers Are Feeling the Hangover from China’s Corruption Crackdown – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Worldwide sales of cognac dipped in 2013 after several years of heady increases, according to new industry data. The culprit? China’s ongoing battle on corruption.

The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), the main industry group for the fortified wine from southwestern France, said earlier this week that sales of the drink slipped 6.7% by volume and 10.2% by value during the 12-month period ending July 2014. Exports to the Far East region, which includes Southeast Asia, China and Japan, fell by about one-fifth in the past year in both volume and value, the BNIC reported.

The industry group said the loss in the Far East region was directly related to a slowdown in the Chinese market, which was a large consumer of the more expensive bottles of the famed French eau de vie. China’s ongoing crackdown on corruption and excessive spending by government officials and state-owned company employees has cribbed spending on lavish entertaining – one reason some economists are predicting as much as a 1.5% dip in GDP growth this year.

The weak sales results are a stark contrast from two years ago, when China was the promised land for cognac makers. Sales hit a record high in 2012 in China when the country was knocking back the special brandy, clinking glasses at banquets and karaoke bars alike. Regarded as a status drink, many Chinese imbibers often sprung for the most expensive bottles and exchanged them as gifts. The world’s most expensive bottle was auctioned in Shanghai in 2011.

But the party has crashed. Owners of major cognac brands, such as Remy Cointreau SARCO.FR -0.74% (which owns Remy Martin cognac), reported a sobering 30% decline in sales during the last quarter of 2013.

Cognac is hardly the lone liquor getting caught in the corruption crackdown. Sales of baijiu, China’s notoriously fiery grain alcohol, and whisky are down, too.

China’s largest wine importer, ASC Fine Wines, said its sales stalled in 2013 as the anti-graft campaign drastically reduced sales of the most expensive bottles. Earlier this week, the company told the Journal it has since slashed the average price of its wines by 32% in a bid “to stimulate more demand for these wines through more attractive pricing.”

The Chinese are still drinking, they insist, just not splurging.

via Cognac Makers Are Feeling the Hangover from China’s Corruption Crackdown – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

31/01/2014

Feng Shui Masters at Odds Over Prospects for Year of the Horse – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The Year of the Horse, which begins Friday, is a dangerous one for investing, according to Master Koon, a Hong Kong-based feng shui master.

The Chinese zodiac runs on a 60-year cycle, as the 12 animals occur in combination with each of the five elements of traditional Chinese cosmology: wood, water, fire, metal, and earth. The “wood horse,” which is up this year, represents “instability and disruption,” Master Koon said. A previous wood horse year, 1894, saw war break out between China and Japan – hardly an auspicious sign.

“Property, the stock market, the economy, politics—they’re all unstable,” said Master Koon. “So investments need to be conservative.”

Master Koon’s analysis flatly contradicts that of brokerage CLSA, which argued in a recent report that the Year of the Horse would be a good one for stocks. Based on its own survey of five feng shui diviners, CLSA calculates the Hong Kong stock market’s benchmark Hang Seng index will likely rise 28% over the next year.

It seems the masters of feng shui are no more in agreement than professional economists, whose prognostications for China’s growth vary from an export-driven resurgence to financial meltdown. It isn’t clear which profession has a better record of forecasting.

via Feng Shui Masters at Odds Over Prospects for Year of the Horse – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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13/12/2013

Apple’s Deals With Top Carriers in Japan, China May Spur iPhone Sales – Businessweek

As Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930:KS) rumble for leadership in the global smartphone market, the Korean electronics giant has enjoyed a big advantage. In China and Japan, Asia’s two biggest economies, Samsung had deals with the No. 1 mobile operators to sell its handsets—and Apple didn’t. Despite years of trying, the maker of the iPhone couldn’t win over China Mobile (941:HK) or Japan’s NTT Docomo (9437:JP). The two carriers have 821 million customers combined.

An Apple Store in Beijing

Apple’s Asia handicap may soon be a thing of the past. In Japan, Docomo began offering the iPhone in September. Meanwhile, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s shuttle diplomacy may be about to bear fruit in China. Although iPhones don’t work on China Mobile’s homegrown 3G standard, they do on the LTE technology the operator plans to use for its 4G service, which it will likely roll out by early 2014.

The timing of Apple’s breakthroughs in Japan and China is no coincidence. Because of their longtime dominance in their home markets, neither China Mobile nor Docomo felt the need to make concessions to offer the iPhone. Yet smaller rivals, such as China Unicom and SoftBank (9984:JP), that have inked deals with Apple are capitalizing on the iPhone’s popularity to woo customers.

via Apple’s Deals With Top Carriers in Japan, China May Spur iPhone Sales – Businessweek.

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