Tokyo: Joining the growing ranks of popular western brands, Japanese ketchup producer Kagome has stopped importing raw materials from China’s Xinjiang province, over the issue of rights abuses against Uyghur, Nikkei Asia reports.
The leading Japanese ketchup producer stopped the import of Xinjiang-grown tomato paste used in some of its sauce products last year.
One of the Kagome representatives said that along with costs and quality, “human rights problems have become a factor in making decisions.”
The Japanese financial newspaper said that Kagome is believed to be the first major Japanese corporation to stop doing business with the region over the Uyghur issue.
This comes after several western brands, including H&M and Nike, halted sourcing materials made in the region, which has resulted in backlash from Chinese consumers.
The issue of forced labour has drawn the attention of the international community. Recently, a group of 16 independent UN experts sent a letter to Chinese and multinational companies raising concerns about the reports of forced labour in East Turkistan.
The letter was also sent to the Chinese government. Meanwhile, Beijing has resorted to boycotting Western companies who have voiced their concerns over the use of Uyghur forced labour in their supply chains in East Turkistan.