A Panasonic Corp. factory and a Toyota Motor Corp. dealership in China were damaged by fire as demonstrations over a territorial dispute with Japan widened, prompting Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to urge the Chinese government to ensure the safety of its citizens.
Smoke and flames were reported as coming from Panasonic’s electronic-parts plant in eastern Shandong province’s Qingdao city, said Atsushi Hinoki, a Tokyo-based Panasonic spokesman. Keisuke Kirimoto, a Toyota spokesman, said an auto dealership in the same port city was damaged, and the company was checking for losses in other cities.
Tensions between Asia’s two largest economies escalated after Noda’s government said last week his country would purchase disputed islands in the East China Sea from their private Japanese owner, prompting China to dispatch government vessels near the islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The row takes place as both countries grapple with a…
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