Today, September 18th, Toyota suspended production in China due to anti-Japan protests.
Beijing-based spokesman Hitoshi Yokoyama declared that Toyota decided to stop manufacturing and other operations in China, jointly run with two Chinese partners. The decision was made to ‘ensure employee safety’ in a period of violent attacks and demonstrations aimed at the Japanese automakers and their employees.
He didn’t give information on which plants are to be closed beginning today or how long they will be idled. Toyota jointly manufactures vehicles in southern China city of Guangzhou, the northeastern city of Changchun and the eastern city of Tianjin. Toyota plans to sell 1 million vehicles in China by the end of this year, up from 900,000 units sold in 2011.
Toyota is only one of the companies affected by the string of anti-Japan protests that have begun the past weekend in China. On Saturday and Sunday, Toyota and other outlets selling Japanese cars in Qingdao were torched by angry demonstrators. Hundreds of Japanese companies, including the country’s embassy, suspended today services in China. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Beijing to offer assurance that Japan’s people and property were protected during this period of violent attacks.