TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese casual clothing chain Uniqlo plans to close a store in central Seoul, hurt by South Korean consumer boycotts amid a mounting dispute between the two countries, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Friday.
Uniqlo, owned by Fast Retailing <9983.T>, will close the unidentified store soon, the Japanese daily said without citing sources.
Fast Retailing representatives did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
South Korean consumers are boycotting Japanese products from beer to pens in protest over Japan’s decision to impose restrictions on exports of key high-tech materials to its Asian neighbour.
Japan cited security concerns for the curbs. The move, however, has also been seen as retaliation after a South Korean court last year ordered Japanese companies to compensate Koreans who were forced to work for Japanese occupiers during World War Two.
Japan has also removed South Korea from a list of favoured trading partners.
Uniqlo is one of Japan’s more visible brands globally outside the auto and electronics industries. It has close to 190 stores in South Korea where it sells around 140 billion yen (£1 billion) of clothes annually, or 6.6% of its revenue.
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; editing by Richard Pullin)