TOKYO The chairman of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) has sought to dispel concerns that an uneasy relationship between China and Japan would have economic repercussions.
"Japan intends to reinforce the economic relationship and I understand that China has the same intention," said Tadashi Okamura, president and CEO of Toshiba Corp., in his first press meeting as JEITA's chairman.
Earlier this week, a Gartner Dataquest analyst warned that tense relations between Japan and China might raise risks for high-tech investors.
Okamura acknowledged that the present political environment, though quite severe, has not seriously impacted the activities of JEITA member companies in China.
The relationship between Japan and China has been often described as politically cold but economically hot. Okamura believes it is necessary to deepen the economic relations at the private-sector level.
"The economic tie with China will be reinforced and never weaken," he said.
Deepening the relationship with China, however, is left to each company's efforts. JEITA at present has not devised any practical program, according to Okamura.
His vision may be backed up by a poll of small to mid-size companies conducted last month by Osaka City Shinkin Bank after the violent anti-Japanese demonstrations. The poll asked clients with business units in China whether the demonstrations had lingering business effects.
Among 500 respondents, 1.2 percent said they suffered significant damage and 10.2 percent had slight damage. Nearly 90 percent said they suffered no impact.
But 54.4 percent of the companies feel anxiety about future business in China and 13.6 percent are reviewing their Chinese business, indicating some level of concern over China-Japan relations.