Uniqlo maker apologises for saying Korea boycott won’t last long

Purchases in South Korea’s Uniqlo stores by customers using credit cards have dropped by 26%. (AFPrelaxnews)

TOKYO: Japan’s largest clothing maker Fast Retailing issued an apology on its Korean website for remarks that angered Korean customers amid the trade spat between Japan and South Korea.

At its earnings, the Uniqlo owner’s chief financial officer Takeshi Okazaki said he “thinks” that the impact of a boycott of Japanese goods wouldn’t last long.

In its statement, Fast Retailing clarified that the remarks were intended to mean that the company “hoped” the impact wouldn’t be long-lasting, and apologised for upsetting Korean customers.

The remarks were “insufficient,” it said, and unintentionally conveyed the impression that the company expected the boycott movement wouldn’t last long. It also posted the remarks on its Japanese website.

Credit-card purchases at Uniqlo stores in South Korea dropped 26% recently, according to an analysis by a credit card company cited by the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.