Fast Retailing decides to pull plug on Russia

Customers wait to enter a Uniqlo store in Moscow on Thursday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Fast Retailing Co., the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing stores, said Thursday that it will temporarily suspend its operations in Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, changing its initial plan to continue operations there.

Fast Retailing had 50 Uniqlo stores in Russia as of the end of February this year. The company said in a statement that it has “recently faced a number of difficulties, including operational challenges and the worsening of the conflict situation” involving Ukraine and Russia.

Moves to suspend businesses in Russia are spreading among Japanese companies.

Also on Thursday, electronics and machinery giant Hitachi Ltd. announced that it will halt exports to Russia and manufacturing bases in the country in stages.

Hitachi’s operations in Russia, mainly production and sales of construction equipment, generate sales of around ¥50 billion. The company decided to stop operations, in the face of disruptions in logistics and supply chains.

Nintendo Co. plans to suspend for the time being the shipments to Russia of all products, including the Nintendo Switch video game console, company officials revealed the same day.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has decided to stop shipments of products, citing difficulties maintaining operations, due partly to confusion in the financial situation there.