Mainland actress Li Bingbing did not show up at the Tokyo premiere ceremony for Resident Evil: Retribution 3D on Monday.
The ceremony was attended by leading actress Milla Jovovich.
Hong Kong tabloid The Sun quoted Li’s manager Ji Xiang as saying that Li did not attend the Tokyo event because she had some work to do in Beijing, but also because she was concerned with the Diaoyu Islands issue between China and Japan recently.
“We’re taking the same position as our government. Bingging will attend the film’s premiere ceremonies in other countries, but not in Japan,” he was quoted as saying.
Calls to his cell phone went unanswered on Tuesday. Li was unavailable for comment.
Resident Evil: Retribution 3D is the fifth installment of the film series based on a popular video game, and also Li’s first Hollywood blockbuster.
Li is an established actress in China, but is best known to Western audiences as the leading lady in The Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and Wayne Wang’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, adapted from Lisa See’s novel.
Li plays Ada Wong, a mysterious and ambiguous anti-heroine figure, working for the series’ villains but also helping the protagonist Leon. Wong is one of the most popular characters in the game but did not appear in earlier Resident Evil films.
Li spent about two months in the United States shooting the film. She was featured on one of the two international posters Sony released in mid-August, shoulder to shoulder with Jovovich, the leading actress in the series.
Tensions over the Diaoyu Islands issue have escalated since Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara in April unleashed a government plan to “purchase” the islands.