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Shiseido's 'Christmas factory' feels chill from Hong Kong and Seoul

Demand for Japanese makeup looks shaky just as $1.5bn production buildup begins

Shiseido's new factory north of Tokyo: The human eye remains an essential tool on cosmetics production lines. (Photo courtesy of the company)

TOKYO -- Top Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido will open its first domestic plant in 36 years on Christmas Eve, but the mood around the occasion is less than festive.

The factory in Otawara, north of Tokyo, was conceived as a way to satisfy unmet demand for the company's beauty products from foreign buyers. Two more plants are in the works, which will bring the total number in Japan to six by 2022.

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