JAPAN: China/Japan spat impacts cargo flows

Tensions between China and Japan have spilled over into the air cargo realm despite the release of the captain of a Chinese trawler that collided with two Japan Coast Guard vessels in waters near the Senkaku Islands. Soon after the release, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a “declaration” demanding an apology and compensation from Japan […]


Tensions between China and Japan have spilled over into the air cargo realm despite the release of the captain of a Chinese trawler that collided with two Japan Coast Guard vessels in waters near the Senkaku Islands. Soon after the release, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a “declaration” demanding an apology and compensation from Japan for the detention of the captain, which was quickly rejected by Tokyo. In possible retaliation for the Senkaku diplomatic row, Chinese customs agents in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere have reportedly delayed Japanese cargo. Customs inspectors are said to be examining more cargo to and from Japan, slowing trade of auto parts, machinery and other products, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper quoting unnamed sources. Beijing customs began subjecting all commercial air cargo to Japan to X-ray inspections, instead of the usual random sample inspections of 10 to 20 per cent of all cargo. An increasing number of shipments have been delayed because they missed scheduled cargo flights. Customs officials in the Chinese capital are now checking more imports from Japan as well with Shanghai customs officials informing major transportation companies that 100 per cent of all air cargo will be inspected, as well as quarantine inspections on 50 per cent of cargo, instead of the usual 10 per cent. Similar moves have taken place at both sea and airports in Tianjin and elsewhere across the country.