Toyota still recovering from Senkaku-Diaoyu hangover

…And this is how global trade withers. Sales of Toyotas in China plunged 15.9 per cent in the year to December 2011, according to Reuters, “still dogged by a sales crisis Japanese carmakers are suffering following a territorial row between the two countries.”

This shows there are forces out there that make globalization’s foundations look a lot less sure

Of course December is an improvement.

Toyota’s December sales fall followed declines of 22 percent in November, 44 percent in October and almost 50 percent in September.

And what has driven the recovery?

The executive attributed the recovery in part to discounts and other sales incentives the company offered during the month, as well as what he said was receding fear among Chinese consumers over owning Japanese cars.

Japan must acknowledge “dispute” over Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands: NYT columnist

NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof warns “there is some risk that this [Senkaku-Diaoyu Island issue] will escalate [out] of control and even trigger a war.”

He says China, Japan and the US have mishandled the situation to date, with Japan’s biggest issue being their denial that there is a dispute. Worth a read.

He even proposes a solution: allowing both sides to claim the islands and giving the Chinese ships – not planes – visitation rights. Interestingly he notes the difference of opinion between the Chinese foreign ministry and the PLA.