BEIJING (AP) — China says the number of Japanese tourists visiting Beijing fell by more than half in the first six months of the year amid a spike in tensions between the countries.

Beijing’s statistics bureau said Sunday that 136,000 Japanese tourists visited the capital between January and July. That was down 53.7 percent from the same period last year.

The drop follows violent anti-Japanese protests in Beijing and several other Chinese cities in September in response to complaints from the government over Japan’s move to nationalize uninhabited East China Sea islands claimed by China. Japanese businesses were torched and Japanese-brand cars were smashed despite their having been locally made.

There were also scattered reports of assaults on Japanese citizens, although none of the attacks were serious.