Osaka [Japan], May 21 (ANI): Japanese sportswear firm Mizuno Corporation on Friday announced its decision to stop using cotton sourced from China's Xinjiang region, believed to reflect concern amid allegations of human rights abuses by Beijing against the Uyghur Muslims.
Mizuno did not officially disclose the reason for its decision and said that it would have a minimal impact as Xinjiang cotton only makes up a small amount of the material used in its sportswear, reports Kyodo News.
The company said that the output of products containing Xinjiang cotton will be discontinued and will not be restocked once sold out.
Earlier this week, the US Customs and Border Protection blocked a shipment of men's shirts for the Uniqlo casual clothing chain in January for allegedly violating an import ban on items containing cotton sourced from Xinjiang, Kyodo News reported.
Tadashi Yanai, chairman and CEO of the chain's operator Fast Retailing Co, said last month that the Japanese firm would immediately halt business with suppliers if it was found products were made with forced labour.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and subjecting them to abuse including forced labour.
Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) brutal crackdown on the ethnic community.
The US banned imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang in January, and Canada and the United Kingdom followed suit. Many international brands, including H&M, Nike and Ralph Lauren, have also gone on record to declare their products are not made from Xinjiang cotton, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).H&M was forced to close 20 stores in China following its statement on forced labour in Xinjiang that leads to uproar among Chinese nationals and authorities.Meanwhile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden have issued a joint statement expressing grave concern at the human rights situation of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province. (ANI)