Suzuki has suspended production at one of its motorcycle factories in China as Anti-Japanese protests sweep across the Asian nation.

Tensions between China and Japan flared up in late August after the Japanese government announced plans to buy a handful of uninhabited but strategically useful islands. Both nations, as well as Taiwan, claim ownership of the islands, known as the Senkaku Islands to Japan and the Diaoyu Islands to China.

Naturally, the Chinese took umbrage with the estimated 2.05 billion yen (US$26.1 million) bid, sending a pair of patrol ships to the islands in a show of sovereignty. Meanwhile, Chinese citizens began staging demonstrations and boycotts against Japanese products, with reports of Japanese car dealerships being targeted by vandals.

Tempers are especially high with the Sept. 18 marking the anniversary of the start of the Manchurian Incident, where the Japanese military staged a bombing on a Japanese train in China to create a pretext for an ensuing invasion.

Responding to the risks of violent demonstrations, Suzuki decided to suspend production yesterday, Sept. 18, at its factory in Jinan in the province of Shandong. There’s no word yet on whether the factory has re-opened.

Toyota, Nissan and Honda also shut down production at their automobile plants in China. At this point, Suzuki is the only Japanese manufacturer to suspend motorcycle production as a result of the demonstrations.

[Source: Reuters (Yahoo News)]