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From Red Carpet Roll-up To Economic Anxieties, Industry Braces for War

As the nation rolled toward war, retail and fashion executives waited to see what the impact might be of a conflict everyone hopes is a short one.

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"Tourism isn’t great, anyway. In the fourth quarter we saw a bit of a recovery in places like Hawaii, but overall, it’s still not back at 2000 levels. Japanese consumers do tend to spend more at home when they’re not traveling but it never totally offsets the loss of their spending abroad."

But executives in Japan insisted that, even in wartime, the nation’s consumers want their luxuries. "Fundamentals of the economic situation in Japan will not suffer damage in the war," said Kana Sasaki, analyst for UFJ Tsubasa Economic Research Center. "The Japanese market for luxury goods will stay strong. Major consumers for the brands, which are young women, are different from those who will sustain damage from the war."

After the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, local sales went up "because fewer people went abroad to avoid danger, and people did shopping domestically," said Sasaki.
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