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Poll: Most Chinese Execs Won't Work With Japanese Companies

  • VOA News

FILE - A vendor installs a poster above his booth, which sells fishes caught by Zhejiang fishermen in waters near disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, during a food exhibition in Shanghai.
A new poll suggests a majority of Chinese executives are unable to do business with Japanese companies because of worsening China-Japan relations.

The three-country poll, released Wednesday, was conducted by China's Global Times, Japan's Nikkei, and South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper.

About 60 percent of Chinese bosses told pollsters they cannot separate business from politics enough to work with Japanese companies.

About the same number of South Korean business leaders said they try to avoid dealing with Japanese businesses due to diplomatic disputes.

However, Japanese executives interviewed for the poll were more optimistic, with 80 percent saying they work with companies from the other two countries.

Many in China and South Korea are angry with Japan because of separate territorial disputes and what they consider Tokyo's insensitivity toward its imperialist past.

The poll was conducted before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit last month to a controversial Shinto shrine said to honor the souls of Japan's 2.5 million war dead, including 14 convicted World War II war criminals.

China and South Korea, which were among the main victims of Japan's imperial aggression, view such visits to the Yasukuni Shrine as evidence that it has not repented of its abuses.

Many Chinese, in particular, have expressed outrage at Japan, culminating in 2012 protests that saw small-scale violence against Japanese-owned businesses.

But Robert Dujarric, the director of the Institute of Contemporary Asia Studies at Temple University in Tokyo, told VOA most Japanese are not as concerned about the issue.

"They are concerned about the economy. Most Japanese do not share a Yasukuni-oriented view of history, but on the other hand, I think a lot of Japanese, probably the majority by now, consider China to be, if not a threat, at least a problem for Japan."

Dujarric said the Chinese government, though upset, is not willing to let the diplomatic dispute affect economic relations with Japan, which is among China's most important trading partners.

He said Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine did not have a major impact on China-Japan relations, which were already suffering, but that it has made it "impossible for him to ever meet a South Korean leader as long as he is prime minister."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.