Sales to young working women are now boosting sales of lingerie and foundation garments to record levels according to the organisers of Japan's first intimate apparel trade fair, Intima Japan, which is scheduled to take place in Tokyo on May 26-28 2003.

The growth in sales is particularly good news for European manufacturers whose share of the Japanese market has risen by more than 20 per cent over the last three years.

"Perhaps even more encouraging, the boom in underwear business began at a time when the rest of the Japanese economy seemed to heading for recession," say the event's organisers. "Already some 50 internationally important manufacturers have expressed serious interest in this event with requests for space from Taiwan, China and the USA."

As well as lingerie, there will also be sections for nightwear, swimwear and fabrics.

By Sonia Roberts.