TOKYO, Sept. 21, Kyodo
Beijing municipal authorities have ordered some publishers in the Chinese capital not to bring out books related to Japan, bilateral relations sources said Friday.
The order, issued Sept. 14, is seen as a retaliatory step against Japan's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands claimed by China, the sources said.
In addition to books penned by Japanese authors, the publishers have been asked not to bring out books related to Japan by Chinese writers or organize cultural and promotional events, the sources said.
The ban came three days after the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiro Noda approved a decision to purchase the islands in the East China Sea from a private Japanese owner.
Chinese displeasure over the nationalization has affected various fields. Among other measures, China recently stiffened customs clearance procedures against merchandise imported by Japanese companies.
Anxieties are growing in the publishing industry that similar prohibitive orders may be issued to publishers in locations other than Beijing, depending on developments relating to the bilateral spat over the Senkakus, called the Diaoyu Islands in China.
A source in China said the "self-restraint mood" is already spreading to publishing houses that did not receive the ordinance in question.
Trade statistics of the Japanese Finance Ministry show that exports of books, magazines and other publications from Japan to China amounted to about 1 billion yen in 2011 on a value basis.