Clothing and accessories imports into Japan – the world's third-largest fashion apparel importer after the EU and the US – fell 0.6% in value during the first half of 2017, according to the Japanese Ministry of Finance.

Clothing and accessories imports raked in JPY1.4trn (US$12.85bn) over the January to June period, it said in a release at the end of July. 

In terms of manufactured goods however, textiles, yarn and fabric imports grew 1.7% to JPY445.99bn.

By country, the highest number of total imports came from China, at JPY8.8trn; with clothing and accessories imports at JPY879.4bn.

Regionally, the highest number of total imports came from Asia, a total of JPY17.8trn, with clothing and accessories at JPY1.3trn.

Last month the EU and Japan struck an agreement that will eventually pave the way to a free trade pact between the two countries. 

Apparel and sportswear groups hail EU-Japan trade deal

Total Japanese imports from the EU were up 3.8% to JPY4.2trn over the six months.

In clothing and accessories, however, imports into Japan from the EU were down 2% to JPY71.5bn. But textile, yarn and fabric imports rose 1.6% to JPY30.1bn.