10 Oct 2012

China's central bank governor to miss Japan meetings

9:44 pm on 10 October 2012

The head of China's central bank has pulled out of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Japan, as the countries remain at odds over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, was scheduled to attend the meetings and deliver a speech at the event, but IMF officials say he has pulled out, citing a clash of schedules. He will be replaced by his deputy, the BBC reports.

China's Finance Minister Xie Xuren is also reported to have withdrawn from the meetings, as have the four state-owned banks. State media said Vice-Minister Zhu Guangyao would attend.

A Japanese official described Mr Zhou's absence as "regrettable".

The territorial dispute has affected political and trade ties between the two neighbours.

On Tuesday, Japanese carmakers reported a dramatic drop in sales in China, after recent protests in the country targeting Japanese products and businesses.

Toyota reported a 49% drop in sales in September, while Honda and Nissan's sales fell 40% and 35% respectively.

Other carmakers such as Mitsubishi Motors and Mazda have also reported a sharp drop in Chinese sales.

The protests had led to various Japanese firms temporarily suspending their operations in China.