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Japan bookings to China still falling amid island row

Published on Feb 4, 2013 11:38 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - Bookings on Japanese package tours to China for February and March are down around 80 per cent, tourism industry data showed on Monday, as a months-old territorial row dragged on relations.

Tours to China, booked through Japan's seven biggest travel agencies, fell by 80.3 per cent year-on-year for February and by 77.2 per cent for March, the Japan Association of Travel Agents said.

Tokyo and Beijing have been embroiled in a bitter sovereignty dispute over a chain of islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkakus in Japanese and the Diaoyus in Chinese.

The Japanese nationalisation of some of the islands in September sparked sometimes violent anti-Japan rallies across China.

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