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Tourists ask to cancel tours to Japan


Some Chinese tourists are canceling tours to Japan after hearing news of the Japanese government "purchase" of Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, two Shanghai travel agencies said yesterday.

"There are some local tourists who said they want to cancel their tours to Japan and some are consulting us out of safety concerns," Liu Xin, deputy general manager of the Shanghai China CYTS Outbound Travel Service Co Ltd, said.

Liu said the agency was waiting to see if there would be a notification from tourism authorities.

The Shanghai branch of the China International Travel Service also said they received some requests from local tourists about canceling their trips.

Last year, more than 100,000 tourists from Shanghai went to Japan on organized package holidays.

Meanwhile, two floats representing Japan will be absent from this year's parade on the opening night of the Shanghai Tourism Festival due to the Diaoyu Islands dispute, the city's tourism bureau said yesterday.

"It is not proper to organize the float parade because of the current political situation," Dao Shuming, the bureau's director, said at a press conference in response to a Japanese reporter's question about the influence of current Sino-Japanese ties on tourism.

The two floats, presented by the city of Osaka and Kagawa Prefecture, were due to parade around the city along with another 21 floats from Saturday, the opening day of the festival, to October 6, according to the bureau's original plan.

In another fallout from the dispute, the annual Shanghai marathon, due to take place in December, will no longer be using the name of a Japanese sponsor in its title, Shanghai Sports Bureau announced yesterday.

"The Japanese enterprise-titled Shanghai international marathon is no longer suitable to be launched because of the Japanese government's position on the Diaoyu Islands," the bureau said. "But as a famous sports event of Shanghai, the 2012 Shanghai International Marathon will be held on time and enrollment should be kicked off soon."

The marathon, formerly the Toray Shanghai International Marathon, has been held since 1996.