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Japan tapers imports of logs from tropical trees to near zero

Major plywood maker pulls plug as Malaysia and PNG move to protect forests

These logs in a back lot of a Daishin Plywood Industry factory in the city of Niigata are what's left of the company's final shipment. They will be gone by the end of next month. (Photo by Kei Sekiguchi)

TOKYO -- Japan's biggest importer of logs from tropical rainforests will go out of business come spring, signaling that these imports may drop to nil sooner or later.

"We considered ourselves the last 'goalkeeper' indispensable to our industry," said Yoshimasa Hirano, president of Daishin Plywood Industry Co. "But we lacked strength."

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