A Japanese governor has urged his national government to settle disputes with China over the Diaoyu Islands after two Chinese air carriers said they will terminate flights to Japan at the end of October, the Kyodo News reported.
China Southern Airlines will stop flying to Toyama from Beijing via Dalian starting October 28, Takakazu Ishii, governor of the prefecture, said Wednesday.
Authorities in Fukushima also said China Eastern Airlines will terminate its Shanghai-Fukushima route the same day, saying low demand may relate to the spat over the islands.
China Eastern's Tokyo branch confirmed the termination, adding that its two outlets in the prefecture will also be closed on October 31.
Ishii said he thinks the recent tensions between Japan and China may have played a role in the cancellation.
"The Fukushima-bound route had already been shelved after a trio of disasters including the earthquake, tsunami and the radiation leak at a nuclear power plant in March last year," Luo Anping, a publicity officer of China Eastern, told the Global Times.
"Japan's attempt to 'nationalize' the Diaoyu Islands will surely have a bearing on bilateral economic cooperation. The termination of the route is an example," Yang Bojiang, a professor with China University of International Relations, told the Global Times.