Asahi Kasei will close two plants in Nobeoka, Japan, that make polyester monofilament and yarns. The company will reassign the 250 employees affected by the decision. Asahi entered the polyester business in 1969 and still considers synthetic fibers a core activity. But it says conditions for Japanese polyester producers turned bleak in the 1990s as the yen strengthened and competition from other Asian countries intensified. Teijin Fibers will serve Asahi's polyester yarn customers, and Uniplas will take over its remaining monofilament business.