Diplomatic hurdles were no match for the beloved Japanese anime character "Doraemon," with the film featuring the futuristic robotic cat becoming the highest-grossing animated film in China just days after opening in theaters.
"Stand By Me Doraemon," a 3-D computer animated film produced last year, is the first major Japanese movie in approximately three years other than those shown at festivals to be given a wide screening in China since the sovereignty dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea flared in autumn 2012.
The film opened on May 28. Just three days later it had grossed 237 million yuan (4.7 billion yen, or $38.2 million), according to Chinese media.
On May 30 and 31 alone, the film took in over 80 million yuan each day, both daily records for an animated film screened in China. No other Japanese film has seen such a large turnout of Chinese moviegoers in the opening days.