By Ana Douglas
Japanese-branded cars were wrecked by angry mobs in nation-wide protests last month.
The Shanghai Municipal Sports Bureau has officially confirmed on Weibo that they have suspended the Toray Cup Shanghai International Marathon after worsening Sino-Japanese relations.
In a statement, the bureau announced, “A marathon sponsored by and named for a Japanese company is not suitable to be launched. As a traditional Shanghai brand, the 2012 Shanghai International Marathon will still be held as planned.”
Toray Industries Inc. is a Tokyo-based chemical company that sponsors the event.
Their decision to suspend Japanese sponsorship follows heightened tension over the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands. This small area in the East China Sea has been a source of conflict between China and Japan, both of whom claim sovereignty over the islands.
China’s worsening relations with Japan has also affected the latter country’s participation in Shanghai’s upcoming tourism festival, set to occur this Friday all the way to October 6.
From the Global Times report:
“Due to the recent political atmosphere between China and Japan, Japan’s floats for the Shanghai Tourism Festival parade Saturday have been cancelled,” Dao Shuming, director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau, told a reporter from the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
The reporter had asked whether the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands would hurt Japanese interests in local tourism.
China and Japan both claim the group of islands in the East China Sea.
Yang Jun, spokesperson for the Shanghai Municipal Government, also commented on the dispute at the press conference. “We value friendly relations with neighboring countries, but we will not back down over territory issues,” she said.
See more photos of last month’s anti-Japanese protests here.