Shiseido, Kao and Lion show solidarity with Ukraine amid intensifying conflict with Russia
The companies are joining the ranks of several multinationals from Disney to Ikea in halting all commercial activity in Russia as its president Vladimir Putin intensifies the war in Ukraine.
Cosmetic companies including French giant L’Oréal and LVMH-owned beauty retailer Sephora have also taken a hard line against Russia by ceasing their commercial operations as well as media and advertising activities.
The Shiseido Company said it had donated EUR1m (USD$1.1m) and 50,000 personal care products such as face cleansers as well as baby food through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Additionally, the company said it had started raising donations from its own employees.
The company added that it would support displaced Ukrainians through job opportunities, internships as well as scholarships as part of long-term efforts to support the refugees.
“While we have no employees in Ukraine, we are determined to extend the utmost humanitarian care and support to these refugees,” said the firm.
As of March 14, over 2.9 million refugees have fled the attacks in Ukraine since February 24, according to data from the UNHCR.
The Kao Corporation has donated EUR500,000 (US$550,000) through the UNHCR for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine and was raising donations from its employees as well.
The company has also donated essential products such as baby diapers and sanitary products for women.
Similarly, the Lion Group, which does not operate in Ukraine or Russia, has pledged EUR500,000 to the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid in its relief efforts in the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis.
It has also donated daily necessities such as oral care products and hand soap. “[The Lion Group] is committed to the health of people. We recognise that it is our mission to contribute to a comfortable, clean, and hygienic daily life.”
Like Shiseido, it has pledged to provide employment opportunities to Ukrainian refugees.
Both Shiseido and Kao, which have operations in Russia, also announced the decision to halt commercial activities in the country.
Shiseido said it had suspended exports from its European hub to its subsidiary in Russia and ceased marketing activities.
However, the firm said it has decided to guarantee employment and compensation to its employees in Russia.
“We are determined to extend our full support to our Shiseido family in Russia, in what is also a difficult time. Recognising their significant contribution to our group, we will provide them with certainty through employment protection and compensation for the next weeks and months to come.”
Similarly, Kao has also ceased exports and advertising activities in Russia.
However, it said it would continue to export the “minimal” products needed for women and infants to maintain their hygiene.
“We will respond as needed according to future changes in the situation,” the company added.