Free trade v nationalism

Several major Japanese companies have suspended operations in China after attacks on shops and car dealerships. The protests followed Japan's purchase of islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

This week's unrest marks the low point in relations between China and Japan for many years.

In May the mood music was very different - the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea announced plans to create a free trade area.

Together the three countries make up nearly 20% of world GDP, and a free trade agreement between them would rival existing free trade zones like the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Graham Hutchings is director of Director of Analysis at Oxford Analytica, Justin Rowlatt asks him whether the pact was now dead in the water.

Until recently Michael Woodford was chief executive of the Japanese camera maker Olympus. He left the firm last year after going public with his concerns about secret payments the company made to cover up losses. Before that he spent 30 years working for the group.

Mr Woodford knows what it is like to run a Japanese company that operates in China so what effect is the dispute likely to have on Sino-Japanese trade?

Plus, healthcare in Africa. For many a trip to the doctor's in much of East Africa can be something of a game of Russian roulette.

The BBC's Fiona Graham reports on how innovative home-grown start-up businesses are working to use technology to make better quality healthcare more accessible.

And, in the wake of the release of the latest iPhone, our regular commentator Jeremey Wagstaff of Reuters, asks whether it is time for us to re-evaluate our relationship with our smartphones.

(Image: Japanese nationalists carry national flags and placards during a rally over the Senkaku islands issue. Credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages)

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Wed 19 Sep 2012 11:32 GMT

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