TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Taiwan flower growers say they're fighting a losing battle to supply Japan with enough white chrysanthemums for use in the mourning of Emperor Hirohito.

Growers in central Taiwan, long the major chrysanthemum suppliers to the Japanese market, can best meet 30 percent of the requirement, the Taiwan Flowers Export Association said Tuesday.

The soaring demand already has caused prices to increase about 60 percent from a year ago, it said.

The Japanese emperor died Saturday of cancer after a lengthy illness.