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Japan clothing giant Uniqlo to suspend Russian business

There are 49 Uniqlo stores in Russia. (AFP)
There are 49 Uniqlo stores in Russia. (AFP)
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11 Mar 2022 12:03:50 GMT9
11 Mar 2022 12:03:50 GMT9

TOKYO: Fast Retailing Co., the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing stores, said Thursday that it will temporarily suspend its operations in Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, changing its initial plan to continue operations there.

Fast Retailing had 50 Uniqlo stores in Russia as of the end of February this year. The company said in a statement that it has “recently faced a number of difficulties, including operational challenges and the worsening of the conflict situation” involving Ukraine and Russia.

Moves to suspend businesses in Russia are spreading among Japanese companies.

Also on Thursday, electronics and machinery giant Hitachi Ltd. announced that it will halt exports to Russia and manufacturing bases in the country in stages.

Hitachi’s operations in Russia, mainly production and sales of construction equipment, generate sales of around 50 billion yen. The company decided to stop operations, in the face of disruptions in logistics and supply chains.

Nintendo Co. plans to suspend for the time being the shipments to Russia of all products, including the Nintendo Switch video game console, company officials revealed the same day.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has decided to stop shipments of products, citing difficulties maintaining operations, due partly to confusion in the financial situation there.

Japan Tobacco, which controls about one-third of Russia’s tobacco market through brands including Winston and Camel, said its subsidiary there would suspend investment, marketing activities and a planned launch of a heated tobacco product.

“The challenges of operating in Russia at this time are unprecedented,” the company said in a statement.

Japan Tobacco, which has four factories and about 4,000 workers in Russia, is continuing manufacturing there for now, but those activities could also be suspended depending on changes in the operating environment, the company said.

JIJI Press/Reuters

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