Following Japan’s release of diluted nuclear waste water from the Fukushima nuclear reactor into the sea, Japanese individuals in China are facing heightened pressure. Japanese parents living in China are concerned for the safety of their children. Japanese restaurants in China have also been affected, experiencing a significant drop in number of customers.
China’s response to Japan’s release of the waste water has been strong, suspending all imports of Japanese aquatic products. Anti-Japanese sentiment in China’s private sector, previously sporadic, has surged following the event.
There have been protests outside of Japanese embassies and incidents reported at Japanese schools. Protesters threw eggs at a Japanese school in Suzhou, while other threw stones at a Japanese school in Qingdao. Japanese parents living in China are anxious, worrying about their children’s safety on their way to and from school.
Chinese suspicion towards Japanese brands has grown following the Fukushima water discharge — reports indicate consumers returning Japanese skin care and beauty products in protest. Anti-Japanese sentiment has even impacted Chinese families, with Japanese restaurants run by Chinese owners seeing a sharp decline in business. Despite not being Japanese-owned, the restaurants have suffered due to customers avoiding anything related to Japan. The combined impact of these events on Japanese businesses comes in addition to recessionary headwinds affecting the Chinese economy more broadly, creating a challenging situation.
Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), August 29, 2023