China's main entry to the Tokyo International Film Festival has been pulled, the event's organisers said, as a bitter row with Japan over islands spilt over to the arts.
But the festival's secretariat said it would still screen Wang Jing's Feng Shui - the only Chinese film nominated for the festival's grand prize - because it had not received any formal notification.
A statement carried on China's state-run Xinhua news agency said the producers were withdrawing the film in protest against the island spat.
"The Japanese government and right-wingers have not shown a sincere attitude regarding the settlement of the dispute, which has seriously hurt the Chinese people's feelings," it said.
The 25th annual festival opened yesterday and will run until October 28. It will feature 15 international films nominated for its top award.
The decades-old dispute over sovereignty of the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, flared again last month. Street protests erupted in China, sometimes targeting Japanese firms, and diplomatic blows were traded at the United Nations General Assembly.
The film's distributor, Beijing Antaeus Film, said in a statement: "In the current environment, Feng Shui chose to give up when it was close to success. Indeed it is a pity for the film but a pride for the Chinese people." * AFP