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Dispute intensifies, Japanese firms pull out of Chinese show

September 19, 2012

SHENZHEN, CHINA (Sept. 19, 9:45 a.m. ET) — As the PU China 2012 exhibition began Sept. 18 in Shenzhen, some Japanese companies that had been planning to exhibit were notably absent, among them isocyanates supplier Nippon Polyurethane and its parent company Tosoh, a major catalyst and additives producer.

A dispute between China and Japan over some island territories escalated in mid September and resulted in violent street demonstrations in China, with the plants of some Japanese companies such as electronics maker Panasonic attacked. As a result Panasonic temporarily suspended operations at some plants in China.

Joint PU China 2012 organizers China MinMetals Corp., Crain Communications Ltd., publisher of Urethanes Technology International, and the CPUIA, China's PU industry association, were told by local police as the stand building got underway at the exhibition centre that the presence of Japanese companies at the exhibition might be inflammatory.

As a result, the Japanese companies that had planned to be at the exhibition withdrew from the show.

News sources note that China and Japan are major trading partners, with car maker Honda selling some 20 percent of its cars in China, and annual trade between the two nations valued at $345 billion.