The Japanese fashion industry is reeling from the March 1 shutdown of their wholesale clothing business, which they said is expected to lead to their closure this month.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has issued a moratorium on the sale of imported goods, including the clothing brands H&M, Banana Republic, Banana Boat, and Zara.
The city said it has taken steps to prevent the closure of its wholesale clothes market and said it is still looking into other issues, including a “substantial increase in the number of counterfeit products.”
The ministry did not specify what those other issues were.
“The wholesale clothes business is a vital and important source of income for Japan,” said Yoshinobu Ogasawara, a spokesman for the trade association Japanese Clothing Manufacturers Association, in a statement.
“We will continue to support the business as we do for other businesses.”
Banana Republic, the second-largest fashion retailer in Japan, said it will shutter its wholesale clothing operation at the end of February.
It said it plans to use proceeds from the sale to support its core business.
The Japanese government has made several moves to curb the supply of counterfeit goods.
In April, the country imposed a ban on imports of clothing from China.
The country has also launched a public campaign to help police counterfeiters and stop them from entering the country.
The United States and Europe have banned imports of all kinds of counterfeit clothing and goods.
On March 7, the United Kingdom and Australia also said they would phase out all imported goods from China, which accounts for about 80% of the world’s counterfeit goods trade.
In its statement, the government said it expects that the wholesale clothes industry will continue selling some of its products at a loss, but the loss in the apparel business will be much smaller than in the wholesale clothing industry.
“We expect that the losses in the garment industry will be in the order of a few hundred billion yen (about $16.8 million),” it said.