The China-Japan trade war is pretty much over—for now

Waiting to be exported, at the port of Yokohama.
Waiting to be exported, at the port of Yokohama.
Image: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara
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There’s still plenty of a fair bit of chest-thumping going on between Japan and China over territorial claims in the East China Sea.

But even so, Japan’s exports to China have rebounded sharply in recent months after a deep slump in 2012. That slump came around the same time that a decades-long dispute over a small chain of islands took a turn for the worse.

For their part, giant Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have reported that 2013 was a record year for sales to China. That was a strong rebound from depressed levels in 2012 when violent protest in China—driven by the diplomatic tensions—sharply curtailed sales of Japanese cars. Here’s a look at Japanese exports to China, through November.


Again, this doesn’t mean that relations between China and Japan are all buttercups and skittles. But the lack of mass, nationalistic protests in China suggests the powers-that-be have decided there’s no need for that to hurt an important business relationship.