Friday, September 21, 2012

Senkaku Islands Row: Japanese Companies in China Hide Their Logos, Display Banners "Diaoyu Islands Are Chinese Territory"


Japan is the perennial loser in a fight with bullies in the sand box.

Because they didn't want the destruction of their buildings, some Japanese companies in China, from a multinational clothing company to a small Japanese restaurant, decided to hide the names and logos that identify them as "Japanese", and displayed a banner that said "Diaoyu Islands are China's own territory". (Chinese call Senkaku Island "Diaoyu Islands".)

From Asahi Shinbun's English paper, Asia & Japan Watch (9/22/2012):

Precautions by Japanese companies in China anger consumers at home:

As recent anti-Japan protests turned violent, police and government officials in China advised Japanese companies to display pro-China messages or Chinese flags to avoid becoming targets of the protesters.

Now, questions of whether--and to what extent--those companies complied has caused a wave of confusion and anger among consumers in Japan.

The protests, which saw Japanese businesses and factories across China attacked, centered on the continuing dispute between the two countries over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu by China.

Japanese casual clothing store Uniqlo has faced particularly strong outcry over its apparent response to the protests.

On Sept. 15, a photo surfaced of one of its outlets in Shanghai displaying a sign which read, "We support the claim that the Diaoyu Islands are inherently China's territory."

The sign was posted in the display window of the store's fall fashion line, and remained there for about 40 minutes.

...

According to a company spokesperson, the Shanghai store did not obey instructions by local police to post a pro-China sign for its own safety. The official said the decision was based on company policy that a store "shall not take any political stance or voice opinions on diplomatic matters."

However, when anti-Japan demonstrations intensified on the morning of Sept. 15, the store was warned again that its "security would not be guaranteed," prompting the store manager to post the sign at the manager's own discretion, the company official said.

The sign was removed at around 12:40 p.m., once the protesters were gone.

(Full article at the link)


Uniqlo is saying it did what it did on its own volition, not because the threat from the local police. Wink, wink, you'd understand, right, Japanese consumers who buy our clothes? Don't you want cheap but chic and high-quality clothes made in our Chinese factory?

Uniqlo says it has received 1,400 calls and emails from Japanese customers protesting the company's action in China, but the CEO of the company says they were "misquoted".

On a separate piece of news from Osaka, washing machines made by the top Chinese maker Haier continue to emit smokes even after the recall and repair.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cowards. The manager should be fired. And the store should post a large sign explaining to the locals why Japan believes the Senkaku Islands are theirs. Unless the store is burned down by the demonstrators, the sign should stay for forty days.

Until then, No more uniqlo for me.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty easy to call for mangers to be fired from the safety of your own country. These companies aren't diplomatic missions they are in China to make money I'm sure the safety of their employees is more important to them than the opinion of some arm chair policy expert. If a simple written explanation could fix this problem it wouldn't be an issue in the first place. If people are disgusted with these "cowards" they should pack up their family and move to China to set a shining example of how to get their house burned down while dodging rocks and bottles.

Let's see, China offers Uniqlo a large and growing customer base while Japan's customer base is shrinking as it ages I doubt Uniqlo is too concerned about losing a few domestic customers.

Anonymous said...

Anon above, it's the other way around. Japanese companies should just pack their bags and go elsewhere. Why bother with China? They can come back to Japan and employ people in Japan, or they can go to Southeast Asia.

Anonymous said...

Uh... customer base in Japan shrink as it ages? You think people stop shopping at Uniqlo when they turn 50? 60?

Anonymous said...

Great video explanation of the JAPAN case for Senkaku ownership at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_j_929xIS8

But of course the CHINESE people will never get to see this. Instead they get to see Japanese companies turn traitor against their homeland.

Anon@7:59 - I agree. But they should go out with a bang. Try politely educating their Chinese customers about the Japan side of the story - until they are closed down by the government or burned down by the government stooges hired to protest.

Anonymous said...

Anon@6:26 - Actually traitors are usually not fired. Traditionally, they are hung.

Anonymous said...

From what I've been hearing, Chinese and Korean companies should also be hiding their logos, lest they be mistaken for Japanese.

Anonymous said...

Looks like China is going to copy Germany at year 1938, night from November 9. to 10. also called "Reichskristallnacht". German nationalists where smashing in windows and destroying shops of jewish people.

Looks really similar may be China is learning very fast what German Reich has shown the world and China now showing its real face to the world.

Anonymous said...

"Uh... customer base in Japan shrink as it ages? You think people stop shopping at Uniqlo when they turn 50? 60?"

YES! Why do you think advertisers have something called demographics? Older people spend less money as they age especially on things like fashion because they are on a fixed income (among other factors). The only companies courting old people are nursing homes and adult diaper companies.

Companies go to great lengths to figure out who spends money and who doesn't Uniqlo's primary demographic is males and females 18 to 24 their secondary demo is males and females 25-35 everyone else can pretty much suck eggs. Japan's society is aging at such a rate that these demos will soon only be found in exploitable numbers on the foreign market.

http://juniqlo.blogspot.com/p/chapter-8-strategic-target-audiences.html

As for "Why bother with China?" the answer is they have a HUGE market in Uniqlo's key demographic not to mention they are paying a fraction of the amount for employees and store space. If Uniqlo thought they could make a profit opening more stores in Japan they'd do it the fact is with nearly 800 stores they are reaching saturation at home.

Like I said it's very easy to call people "cowards" and "traitors" from the comfort of Japan. Why aren't you moving to China with your family so you can risk your personal property and your families lives just to make a point over a pile of rocks?

I say the best method to decide who owns the Islands is to have a Battle Royale on them with all the children of the politicians and big mouth civilians on both sides of the issue fighting to the death until only one survives. You'd be amazed how quickly these rocks would be a non issue on both sides if this came to past.



Anonymous said...

Wrong. My mother is 80 and she shops there. She also sends me the clothes she buys for me there. She has way more money than me. Companies dismiss older generations at their own risks.

Anonymous said...

Anon@6:00


Japan owns the Senkakus. Here's why:

www. youtube. com/watch?v=gnlr_OBN2uw

If China would agree to take this case in front of an international court of justice, the matter could be solved quickly. However China knows it is wrong, and would never agree to a court decision that ruled against it.

Anyone who is as familiar with China as you are should know that their government cannot be trusted to be truthful to their people, and without a free press, they cannot be challenged when they lie. You're working from warped and inaccurate data.


Anonymous said...

Anon above, bringing the matter to the international court would be the stupidest thing for Japan to do, if Japan feels securely that the islands are their territory. You do not dispute your own ownership in the international court. You dispute someone else's ownership claim.

Does Russia want to bring the case of Kurile Islands to the international court? No way. Rightly or wrongly, Russia effectively owns the islands, and it's not about to make a fuss of bringing the issue to the international court no matter how loudly Japanese protest (they don't do much, in fact).

Anonymous said...

USA's President Obama just took China to international court over trade practices. What do you think will happen there?

Anonymous said...

@anon 1:23pm

Your youtube video doesn't mention the Shimonoseki Treaty of 1895 that makes it very clear that China controlled the islands in question as part of Taiwan and Japan annexed them by force after the first Sino-Japanese war in 1895. Why would Japan need a treaty to redefine ownership if they already owned the islands in question?

"My research of over 40 official Meiji period documents unearthed from the Japanese National Archives, Diplomatic Records Office, and National Institute for Defense Studies Library clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885.

Following the first on-site survey, in 1885, the Japanese foreign minister wrote, “Chinese newspapers have been reporting rumors of our intention of occupying islands belonging to China located next to Taiwan.… At this time, if we were to publicly place national markers, this must necessarily invite China’s suspicion.…”

In November 1885, the Okinawa governor confirmed “since this matter is not unrelated to China, if problems do arise I would be in grave repentance for my responsibility”.

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/the-inconvenient-truth-behind-the-diaoyusenkaku-islands/

fabric banners melbourne said...

That's somehow a weird thing to do when it comes to banners, but different marketing works different in different places. That's what makes business so interesting, you have to change things up sometimes and experiment.

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