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Business trends

Vietnam, Cambodia draw Japanese apparel makers away from China

Uniqlo suppliers and others lured by lower labor costs and RCEP tariff reductions

A factory in Vietnam operated by Matsuoka Corporation, a Uniqlo supplier. (Photo courtesy of Matsuoka Corporation)

TOKYO -- Major Japanese apparel manufacturers are shifting more of their overseas production from China to Southeast Asia, as China's rising labor costs and zero-COVID policy chip away at its dominance.

Amid a depreciating yen and rising costs of raw materials, apparel companies are using every available method to lower costs. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Asia-Pacific trade deal that came into effect in January, has given companies a new lifeline.

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