Toyota president Akio Toyoda said he regrets that some of the company’s dealerships in China have been vandalised during anti-Japan protests.

Toyoda, who is also the current chairman of the Japan Auto Makers’ Association (JAMA), said: “Japanese carmakers have been growing their businesses by building vehicles suited to Chinese road conditions and working together with their Chinese employees and friends."

The Japan-China Economic Association added that it is considering scaling down the delegation it is sending to China next week to just 20 businesspeople, from an initially planned 175, because the Chinese host has voiced its concern over the safety of a large group of Japanese visitors.

The association has narrowed down the list of its delegates to Japan's top corporate managers, including Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, and Fujio Cho, head of the delegation, who is also Toyota chairman.

Yonekura, head of Japan's most influential business lobby, has said he wants to visit China at an early date to help patch up bilateral relations, which have soured following Japan's nationalisation of the Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by China.