FILE PHOTO: Tadashi Yanai, chairman and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing Co., operator of Japan’s Uniqlo clothing outlets, attends a news conference to mark the unveiling of the company’s new headquarters building called UNIQLO CITY TOKYO in Tokyo, Japan March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato
TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of Fast Retailing Co (9983.T), owner of fashion chain Uniqlo, criticised Japan’s lack of coronavirus testing in a media interview, joining a chorus of executives questioning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The billionaire founder and CEO Tadashi Yanai told the Financial Times that announcing a state of emergency without making mass testing available was a “mistake”.
“Every citizen should be tested so the patients can be identified and isolated,” he was quoted as saying in the report on Wednesday.
His comments come after SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) CEO Masayoshi Son and Rakuten Inc (4755.T) CEO Hiroshi Mikitani have also criticised Japan’s response to the outbreak.
The global pandemic has forced the company to close its Uniqlo stores around the world. While most of its 750 stores in China have reopened, roughly 600 in Japan are either temporarily closed or operating shorter hours.
Reporting by Ritsuko Ando, editing by Louise Heavens