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Japan diaper output falls 1st time in 15 years

Weaker demand from Chinese tourists blamed; makers look to boost China presence

Diapers line the shelves at a Tokyo store.

TOKYO -- Japanese production of disposable diapers declined for the first time in 15 years in 2016, mainly due to weaker purchases from visiting Chinese tourists.

Strong demand from overseas visitors had given the Japanese diaper market a boost in recent years, but the trend may have peaked. Still, high-quality Japanese diapers are popular in China, prompting Kao and other domestic players to seek more opportunities there.

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