The apparel industry plans to attach a special tag to "genuine" Japan-made clothing to differentiate items made with high skill from cheaper products made in China, sources said.

"The apparel industry has focused only on selling products cheap. But we hope this move will let consumers know about high-quality domestic products, even though they might be expensive," an industry official said Saturday.

Companies will be allowed to use the new "J Quality" tag on suits, shirts and sweaters provided that three processes by which they were made — weaving, dyeing and sewing — were carried out in Japan. Shoes and bags will not be included.

The raw materials used may include items imported from abroad. Clothing with "Made in Japan" labeling currently includes products that use foreign-made fabric and are sewn together in Japan.

At present, imported clothing items account for about 97 percent of apparel sales in Japan.

The project will be officially announced Jan. 14, paving the way for autumn and winter items this year to be sold with the tag. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to support the effort.

A fashion industry group will start accepting applications requesting permission to use the tag in February.