Business / Corporate

Japan apparel firm Onward to pull out of South Korea amid worsening relations

Kyodo

Apparel and lifestyle firm Onward Holdings Co. said Monday it will pull out of South Korea next year amid worsening relations between the two countries.

The withdrawal also comes as the company proceeds with a cost-cutting restructuring. It said Friday it will shut several hundred loss-making stores at home and abroad over the coming years.

Onward specializes in golfing attire in South Korea, and operates the select shop Opening Ceremony and apparel brand Field Dream. Its businesses there will cease operating by February.

“We’ve recently been performing poorly because of the tensions between Japan and South Korea,” Onward President Michinobu Yasumoto told an earnings briefing Monday.

The feud between the two countries over wartime history and trade policy has sent bilateral ties to their lowest point in decades, which has also resulted in a sharp fall in the number of South Korean visitors to Japan.