The Vietnam Textile and Garment Association expects Japan to take over from the EU as the second-largest importer of Vietnamese textile and garment products this year, according to Saigon Times newspaper.
Vietnam's clothing shipments to the EU fell 13.5 percent to US$2.45 billion last year, and are forecast to decrease further in 2013.
Exports to Japan are likely to increase by 18 percent this year to $2.37 billion.
The association attributed the growth to favorable tax treatment under bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
Jackets, T-shirts, and children's clothing will remain key export items to Japan in 2013.
The US is the largest importer of Vietnamese apparel.
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