Japan is the fourth largest market for textile and apparel products. Apparel is the largest imported category by Japan, representing 76 per cent of total textile and apparel imports. This is followed by cotton textiles and manmade textiles. The top 10 suppliers account for 92 per cent of textile and apparel imports by Japan. China is the largest supplier, accounting for a 62 per cent share, followed by Vietnam and Indonesia, with a share of 11 per cent and four per cent respectively.
The Japanese textile industry started shifting to other countries in the 1980s due to increasing wage costs. This led to Japanese investments in countries like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. India is the 10th largest supplier of textile and apparel products to Japan. Apparel has a 49 per cent share in India’s textile and apparel exports to Japan. This is followed by cotton textiles, manmade textiles and carpets having a share of 28 per cent, seven per cent and six per cent respectively.
India has a high potential to increase its market share in Japan. For that, Indian exporters need to focus on high quality Indian garments and work on faster delivery schedules. Further Japan’s sourcing model is based on using buying agents and trading firms and not direct orders. Indian exporters need to familiarize themselves with different models as well.