In recent years a scourge has gripped Japan, and it is people buying too many disposable diapers at once – the Merries brand in particular. For this heinous behavior, three Chinese men were arrested by the Hyogo Prefectural Police on 15 October and are expected to be deported back to their country.
The three men were said to have entered Japan through their culinary licenses. However, their alleged true intent was to buy up as many diapers as possible and send them back to buyers in China, thus violating their visas.
According to police, in a five-day span the men bought 990 packs of disposable diapers produced by Nippon Paper Industries from 267 stores with a view to sending them back to their homeland.
▼ “Since this morning Chinese people have been hording Merries! No joke ～(￣０￣; @Akachanhonpo in Nara City”
usagichan (@usausa0213) October 08, 2014
Despite past boycotts of Japanese products in China, political posturing always takes a back seat to a parent’s love for their child. As such Chinese parents have been demanding Japanese-made diapers in recent years. Grumblings from the Japanese public over sold-out shops from binge buyers have been occurring for some time now.
▼ “Oh! Merries are sold out!!”
machapedia (@machao29) October 08, 2014
In particular, the Merries brand by Kao has earned a reputation among Chinese parents as “the iPhone of diapers” and is especially coveted. Interestingly enough, the Merries brand is also produced in China, but parents there don’t trust the diapers, especially with the proclivity of knock-offs to emerge for any popular brand no matter what it may be.
As a result packs are sometimes flying off the shelves faster than they can be stocked, and are then sold in China at about a 50% increase in price. It’s an awful situation that needs…
Hey wait a minute… Chinese people wanting to buy Japanese diapers in large quantities is a good thing isn’t it? I mean, aw shucks, I guess Kao is just going to have to produce and sell more units or try to get some of that juicy mark up in China themselves thanks to the killer brand recognition they have there.
▼ “In the home center parking lot, two Chinese people struggling to get as many Merries as they can. If one of them came alone they could have packed the front seat too… How much is all this?”
ホームセンター駐車場にて、中国人が二人でメリーズ積むのに大苦戦。 一人で来たら、助手席にも積めるのに。。。 これ、いくらになるの？ http://t.co/ImZIJTz6RG—
もり (@hitomimori) October 07, 2014
Even if they don’t, it’s still a nice win for Japan-produced goods and the jobs that come along with it, especially as the Japanese economy has been just kind of floating around the surface of the toilet bowl.
Also, being a hit in the most populated country in the world means some sweet revenue from sales tax for those visiting and making huge purchases. At least they would but Abenomics kind of screwed the pooch on that by recently exempting sales tax for foreign shoppers on large purchases. Well, at least Chinese people staying in Japan on visas will have to pay the taxes… oh I forgot, they get arrested and deported instead.
▼ An FNN report on the arrests