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Anti-Japanese protesters are confronted by police as they demonstrate over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, on September 16, 2012 in Shenzhen, China. - 

Several major Japanese companies are shutting down some operations in China, citing concerns about the safety of their workers.

Chinese protests at the Japanese firms have gotten violent. They stem from a fight over the ownership of some uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Protests have broken not only in front of Japanese diplomatic buildings like the consulate in Shanghai, but also near Japanese businesses, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield Hayes is with us from Tokyo.

Companies like Panasonic are shutting down their businesses to protect their Japanese workers.

"I think the focus at the moment is just to protect their staff," says Hayes.

 

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson