Women's underwear and socks producer Atsugi Shiroishi says it will shut two factories in the Iwate prefecture of Japan at the end of September this year.

Atsugi Shiroishi, which is an affiliated company of stocking manufacturer Atsugi Co, currently operates three factories in the Iwate prefecture under the Senmaya, Takizawa and Ichinoseki names.

Senmaya and Takizawa are due to be closed, with 58 workers from the Senmaya plant being transferred to the Ichinoseki factory.

56 workers from the Takizawa will lose their jobs.

Atsugi Shiroishi also plans to shut its factories in Ogawara and Yamamoto.

The company said it will transfer this production to China in an attempt to boost its competitiveness.

Atsugi reported a 30 per cent drop in sales for fiscal 2003/2004.