Japan Retailers Shut China Stores

Spat over disputed islands stokes protests in Chinese cities.

Japanese retailers Fast Retailing Co. and Aeon Co. shuttered outlets in the world’s second-biggest economy as a territorial dispute and the anniversary of Japan’s invasion of China prompted thousands to protest in Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities.

Fast Retailing closed 42 of its Uniqlo stores in China, its second-largest market by outlets, and Aeon shut 30 of the 35 stores it has in the provinces of Guangdong and Shandong. Nissan Motor Co., the largest Japanese carmaker in China, halted production at two factories in the country.

Car Sales

Sales of Japanese-branded passenger cars fell last month in China, compared with gains of more than 10 percent for German, American and South Korean vehicles according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. China is the world’s largest car market.

Stores Closed

Fast Retailing spokesman Aldo Liguori said by phone that there had been no reports of injuries or damage to outlets, with the company continuing to monitor the situation. A Uniqlo store in Beijing’s Sanlitun neighborhood was closed with a sign posted on its front saying normal operations have been halted for the day.

Japanese Investment

The easing economic growth hasn’t stopped Japanese investments in China.

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