New movie Memoirs Of A Geisha has been banned in China amid fears it will encourage widespread anti-Japanese ideologies.

The casting of Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li in the Japanese drama has already caused outrage in China - because many regard geishas as prostitutes.

With Sino-Japanese relations reportedly at their lowest point in decades, authorities fear the film will revive resentment over the horrific sexual abuse suffered by thousands of Chinese women at the hands of Japanese troops during the Second World War.

The state-run Film Bureau initially approved the film, but have now retracted their decision - citing the film as "too sensitive" and having "complex" problems.