Half of Japan firms in China foresee drop in investment: survey

About half of some 1,400 Japanese companies operating in China said in a recent survey they will either slash investment in 2023 compared with last year or forgo it altogether, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China said Thursday.

About 60 percent of the firms polled also said in the survey conducted last month they believe the Chinese economy will deteriorate in the July-September period compared with the previous quarter. The world's second-largest economy faces problems such as a property sector crisis and high youth unemployment.

As for reasons to reduce investment in China, some companies pointed to "heightened uncertainty" and "increased risks" in the Chinese market, in apparent reference to Beijing's tighter restrictions on data transfer and strengthened counterespionage law and intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry.

About half of the respondents sought an improved Chinese business environment, calling for simplifying visa procedures or making exemptions for them, and seeking better conditions for sales of seafood and other items.

Following the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex into the sea, starting on Aug. 24, China imposed a blanket ban on Japanese seafood imports.

The Fukushima water discharge, which China strongly opposes, has negatively impacted sales of not only seafood but also goods such as Japanese cosmetics and beverages with significant delays in customs procedures, a chamber official said.

"We will continue to urge the Chinese government to react calmly based on scientific grounds," he said.

© Kyodo News