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The future is antiviral for Japan's material makers

Manufacturers scramble to capture surging demand brought on by pandemic

A Tokyo Metro worker sprays chemicals to kill viruses and bacteria inside a passenger car. Japan's companies are developing new materials to fight viruses.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As the world becomes evermore vigilant about keeping germs and viruses at bay after a pandemic year, Japanese material makers have developed a series of antiviral products with the goal of capturing the double-digit rise in demand.

From masks and upholstery to plastic sheeting and paint additives, antiviral material could take off across the industry as a sustainable product category.

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