consumer caution

Confused Japanese consumers want an answer: Where is “P.R.C.”?

In today’s globalized economy, it’s perfectly normal to be wearing shoes made in Malaysia, listening to an American pop star on a Korean smartphone while driving a German car fitted with Japanese tires. But how many times have you taken a good look to find out where those new jeans or those headphones you got for Christmas were really made?

Recently Japanese consumers have been discovering that some of their products are from “P.R.C.,” a country they had never heard of, and would like some answers on what appears to be a legal gray zone in product labeling regulations.

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Years-old spam message resurfaces in Japan, warns of flip flops made with hydrochloric acid

Way back in 2007, what appeared to be typical scare-tactic spam circulated the internet. The “spam” warned about cheap, Chinese-made flip-flops that some wearers’ feet were having nasty reactions to, resulting in terrible burns. Included were photos of one woman’s disastrous encounter with the sandals along with paperwork detailing her crusade to stop them from being sold ever again.

It now seems that a similar warning message is spreading like wildfire online in Japan. After checking our calendars and confirming that it’s not still 2007, we did a little research.

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