Chinese group cancels holiday parade in Yokohama Chinatown

Local Chinese community in  Japan's Yokohama city has decided to cancel the annual Chinese National Day parade in the city's Chinatown amid strained bilateral ties over a territorial row, local media reported Tuesday.

Around 200 people, including students from a local Chinese junior high school, were scheduled to take part in a drum-beating celebratory parade on Oct. 1, Kyodo reported.

However, an official of the Yokohama Overseas Chinese Association said anonymously that "Japanese spectators would feel uncomfortable with us holding the Chinese flag and banners celebrating the state's founding."

The official also cited safety concerns as the reason for canceling the event in the wake of the China-Japan territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea that has caused bilateral ties to sink to the lowest point in years.

Yokohama Chinatown, located just south of Tokyo, has a history of over 150 years. It is the largest Chinatown in the country and one of the largest worldwide.

The Chinese National Day celebration went ahead in Yokohama, the second largest city in Japan by population, in 2010 even after a Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japan Coast Guard vessels, an incident which also dampened bilateral relations. 

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