Hong Kong-China production appears to have been withdrawn due to escalating political tensions between China and Japan.

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced that Yim Ho’s Floating City has pulled out of its screening at the event next month.

TIFF issued a statement on the sudden cancellation: “It is with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the scheduled screening of Floating City in the Winds of Asia-Middle East section at the 25th Tokyo International Film Festival due to certain reasons on the production side. Although we have strongly made request to those involved not to call off the plan to take part in the festival, the cancellation has unfortunately been finalized.”

The comment about “certain reasons on the production side” appears to be a veiled reference to the conflict between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Daiyou islands that has escalated in the past week.

At the TIFF lineup press conference on Sept 20 chairman Tom Yoda clearly stated that the conflict would have no effect on the festival.

The dispute has also affected other areas of the film industry. Recently announced Japan-China co-production 1905, set to begin filming this November, has been postponed. Lead actor Tony Leung’s agency Jet Tone issued a brief statement on the delay but Japanese partners Prenom H and distributor Shochiku have yet to confirm.

Floating City is a Cantonese-language drama chronicling the meteoric rise of an illiterate man (played by Aaron Kwok) from a local fishing family to a powerful figure in Hong Kong’s corporate world. The film was released in Hong Kong and China in May.

One of the leading filmmakers of Hong Kong’s new wave, Yim Ho’s previous films include King Of Chess, Kitchen and Red Dust, the latter two which were released in Japan.