Aeon and Ito Yokado close doors as demonstrators threaten stores
Japan's two biggest retailers, Aeon and Ito Yokado, were forced to suspend operations over the weekend when their stores caught the backlash of protests across China, sparked by controversial revisions to Japanese school textbooks covering World War Two.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside two of Aeon's Jusco supermarket outlets in Shenzen and Zhuhai in southeastern China, but the stores were not damaged and no one was injured, the company said. The outlets resumed operations as usual at 10am today.

It was the third consecutive weekend that Aeon has temporarily shut its stores in China. In addition, Aeon covered up Jusco shop signs on Sunday at some of its stores in Shenzhen and Guangzhou in response to requests by Chinese police.

Japanese convenience store operator Lawson also confirmed that three of its stores in Shanghai were damaged by vandalism during a protest on Saturday.

'For retail business, rumours alone are enough to cause severe damage,' Aeon President Motoya Okada said at a news conference last week. 'If Japanese stores are deemed dangerous by consumers, it will hurt their business.'

Ito Yokado's outlet in Chengdu was also targeted by protesters the week before, but said Sunday's demonstrations did not damage any of its stores in China.