When buying diapers, go with a name you can trust.

Japan has been experiencing a bit of royal-fever these days, what with the impending abdication of Emperor Akihito and peripheral family member Princess Ayako renouncing her own royal status to marry a commoner. Then we have Akihito’s granddaughter, the young Princess Kako, who has just returned to Japan after studying at University of Leeds in the U.K. for nine months.

Apparently some of this interest in the Imperial Family has rubbed off on the neighboring country of China as well. As a result, a diaper manufacturer in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province has decided to cash in on this interest by claiming the trademarks for “Princess” and “Princess Kako,” and didn’t let the fact that it was for use on their urine-absorbing pants stop them.

As a general rule, using a foreign country’s highest symbol of unity as a mascot for the containment and disposal of poo will likely draw the scorn of said country. Sure enough, Japanese netizens were none too pleased.

“That’s awful.”
“Aren’t wars usually started over things like this?”
“This is really about as insulting as it can get.”
“Let’s get rolling on some Xi Jinping diapers.”
“Alright, how about they pay Princess royalties? Of course they won’t.”
“How can they even do that? Oh right, it’s in China.”

“In civilized countries, this kind of thing just doesn’t happen in the first place.”

It’s hard to find the rational link making a 23-year-old childless women the perfect representative for children’s diapers, so Japan’s News Post Seven reached out to the diaper manufacturer to ask the question on everyone’s mind: What the hell?

Here’s their response:

“Princess Kako is certainly a trademark acquired by us. We are planning to sell disposable diapers for children with this trademark soon. Children are princes and princesses to their parents, so we first registered the name ‘Princess’ and then ‘Princess Kako.’

Japan has a positive image because of its high safety and quality. We think that the name of Princess Kako is perfect for our product. There is no intention to insult the Japanese Imperial Family.”

Their story does check out. A few years back, Japan was flooded with Chinese profit-seekers coming over and buying as many diapers as possible for the purpose of re-selling them back home. It got to the point that Japanese manufacturers couldn’t keep up and store shelves across the country were wiped clean.

▼ To this day I still wonder what the problem with Chinese diapers was to cause such a rush for foreign ones. Did they randomly fly away or something?

And then in China there was the appearance of Meiso (also known as Miniso), the “Japanese” store selling all “Japanese” goods. It was very popular despite none of it actually being Japanese. Clearly, Japan’s reputation alone is a powerful marketing tool, especially for a hot ticket item like diapers.

So it’s fair to say that this is just a case of an overzealous business which perhaps wasn’t taking the time to look at the big picture in the pursuit of profits. In all likelihood the Chinese and Japanese governments ought to be able to handle a situation like this easily and diplomatically, which is good, because I heard China just got laser guns.

Source: News Post Seven, Itai News
Top image: Wikipedia/Kounosu1
Insert image: Pakutaso