Raw Japan

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Suiting up against the flu

October 13, 2009

It looks like typical, off-the-rack business attire but a Japanese menswear firm has invented a suit for the executive who doesn’t have time to come down with the flu.

Haruyama Trading says its $590 suit can protect wearers from the H1N1 virus, as it is coated with titanium dioxide, a chemical commonly used in toothpaste and cosmetics that is said to kill the virus upon contact.


The company worked on the idea with Gaea, a firm that has added anti-flu coatings to face masks, towels and clothes for doctors for more than 10 years. Now, it’s turning to businessmen.

“I bought this suit to protect my newborn baby at home. My wife is worried about the swine flu as well,” said Eiji Hiratsuka, a 32-year-old businessman.

Not everyone was sold though, as many businessmen told me they were sceptical about the suit, planning to stick to the usual anti-flu and anti-virus defenses such as washing hands and gargling on a daily basis

“I think face masks are more effective than these suits, so I’m not buying one,” said Junji Yasuda, a 27-year-old Japanese businessman.

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