The China Syndrome.

By Mark Andrews

Metropolis Magazine (Tokyo). Issue 651 15/09/2006

As politicians wrangle, Japanese living in China are making money and building friendships

Li Jun is typical of China’s new middle class. Educated at university, he worked as a financial manager with a multinational firm in Shanghai. He recently bought a digital camera at one of the city’s ubiquitous electronics stores. The make? Kodak, an American brand. Li says he didn’t want to give his hard-earned money to Sony, Olympus, or any other Japanese company. It’s a sentiment shared by Zhang Yong, a deputy general manager at one of China’s leading securities companies. On the mention of Japan, he tenses up with hackles raised.

The fractious relationship between Asia’s economic giants—Japan, the world’s second biggest economy; China its fourth—has come to the fore again as Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party on September 22 chooses a new leader to succeed Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister.

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Mark Andrews has written about everything from Japanese houses to heli hikes on New Zealand glaciers, test drives of Chinese cars to bar and restaurant reviews. He currently specialises in travel articles and reviews of Chinese cars plus articles about the Chinese auto industry.

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