Plunging birth rate pushes Japanese nappy maker to switch to adult market

Japan’s plummeting birth rate has led a nappy manufacturer to stop making nappies for babies and instead ramp up production for adults, the company has said.

Oji Holdings will wrap up domestic output of infant nappies in September, after production dropped from a 2001 peak of around 700 million annually to 400 million today.

A spokesman said the demand for baby nappies “is decreasing because of factors including the falling birth rate.”

They will continue to be sold in Japan until stocks run out.

The number of births in Japan dropped to a new low in 2023, with more than twice as many deaths as new babies born.

The spokesman said Oji Holdings will boost production of the sanitary items for adults in the country, anticipating their use mainly in facilities like nursing homes.