• Kyodo News

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The industry ministry said Friday it has asked Crocs Inc. of the United States to improve the structure and material of its lightweight plastic shoes to prevent the possibility of them getting stuck in escalators.

The request follows the finding that there were 65 cases in which shoes became stuck in escalators between last June and November, with lightweight plastic shoes involved in 33 of them, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.

Although Crocs is one of several manufacturers whose plastic shoes were among the cases, METI disclosed the company’s name as a child wearing Crocs-made shoes suffered a toe fracture in an accident last August.

The ministry is legally required to identify companies if their products are involved in serious accidents.

METI also said it has asked commercial facilities, railway stations and other parties to better display safety information for people riding escalators.

Many of the 65 accidents involved small children.

Some 3.9 million pairs of Crocs-made plastic shoes were sold in Japan last year. In addition, about 10 smaller manufacturers sold an estimated 5 million to 6 million pairs of plastic shoes.

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