Sony Corp's business in China has "more or less" returned to levels seen
before recent protests against Japan's actions over a group of disputed
islands, the Japanese company's China chief, Nobuki Kurita, told
reporters on Tuesday.
Calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke
out across China in September after Japan nationalised two of a group of
disputed East China Sea islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the
Senkaku in Japanese, by purchasing them from their private owners.
spat plunged relations between Japan and China into a deep freeze and
hit sales of Japanese goods in China. Kurita said, however, that Sony's
China business would recover strongly in the coming three business years
after a dip in the current one.
"My general impression is
business conditions have more or less returned to the pre-crisis
environment," he told a media briefing at a Sony store in eastern
He saw sales in China falling 10 percent in the business
year to next March from the previous year, but rebounding in the year to
March 2013 and growing strongly in the two subsequent years.
declined to comment on what impact the election of the hawkish Shinzo
Abe as Japan's new prime minister could have on Japan-China relations.
has vowed not to back down on the island dispute, but still must
balance that stance with the need for stable relations with China.
Japanese media have reported that he will send a special envoy to China
to mend ties.
"There's no market that has no risk," he said when asked about Japan-China relations.
"Our mandate is to maximise our business potential in any given situation."
said he expects Sony's business in emerging markets to grow about 40
percent from the current level to reach some 2.6 trillion yen in the
business year ending in March 2015. China would account for "a good
chunk" of that growth, he said.
© Thomson Reuters 2012