Japan Fearing Toilet Paper Panic Tells Nation to Stockpile

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 11:03 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Japan’s bureaucrats don’t want the nation to be caught with its pants down the next time toilet paper supplies run short after a natural disaster.

That’s why the government is rolling out its latest public-awareness campaign, entitled “Let’s Stockpile Toilet Paper,” which involves an exhibition on the topic at the trade ministry, a summit of industry leaders and the sale of specially packaged “emergency use” toilet tissue.

The campaign, conducted in cooperation with the Japan Household Paper Industry Association, is part of the ministry’s “toilet paper supply continuity plan,” which was devised in response to shortages after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as well as to the outright hoarding that occurred during the oil shock of the 1970s.

“In addition to the toilet paper that households keep for everyday use, we’re recommending that they maintain a stockpile as well,” Masakazu Kawasaki, deputy director of the ministry’s paper industry and consumer goods division, said by phone.

If the public responds to the campaign by stuffing their closets with spare rolls, it could give a boost to the paper companies, such as Oji Holdings Corp., Nippon Paper Industries Co. and Daio Paper Corp., that manufacture toilet tissue.

Sales of toilet paper have flattened since March, when shoppers hoarded consumer goods ahead of a nationwide consumption tax increase, so the trade ministry campaign could revive sales, Toru Sugiura, an analyst with Daiwa Securities Co., said by phone.

Toilet Paper Panics

Oji Paper has no comment on the trade ministry campaign, according to an official who asked not to be identified citing company policy. An official at Nippon Paper said the company didn’t have an immediate comment. Daio Paper couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Japan would be especially vulnerable to toilet paper shortages if an earthquake were to hit Shizuoka Prefecture, which produces about 40 percent of the nation’s bathroom tissue, the trade ministry said in a statement. The area sits in the seismically unstable Tokai region, which experts warn may be due for a major temblor.

Disasters and world events have caused toilet paper panics in Japan in the past. Fears that paper factories would grind to a halt during the oil crisis of 1973 compelled shoppers to clear store shelves. One 83-year-old shopper broke her leg after being pushed to the floor in a market in western Japan.

More recently, shops sold out of toilet paper, among other consumer staples, after the record earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Shortages even occurred in Tokyo, about 370 kilometers (230 miles) from the quake’s epicenter.

The exhibition on the ground floor of the trade ministry’s offices in central Tokyo starts Sept. 1. Visitors will be able to take a look at the emergency toilet paper, which comes without an inner cardboard role for easier storage.

The ministry’s goal is to convince households to have enough toilet paper in reserve to last a month, which is how long it would be expected to take for factories to resume production or sufficient imports to be secured, Kawasaki said.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Toyota Recalls More Cars for Dangerous Takata Air Bags

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 14:26 PM

Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more vehicles in Japan on Thursday as part of a worldwide scare over defective air bags and  . . .

Oil Prices Plunge After OPEC Decides Against Output Cut

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 14:23 PM

OPEC took no action to ease a global oil-supply glut, resisting calls from Venezuela that the group needs to stem the ro . . .

Harvard's Feldstein: Low Oil Prices Help US as Iran, Russia Suffer

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 16:30 PM

Harvard economist Martin Feldstein says "the low price of oil is good news for the United States economy, because it imp . . .

Most Commented
Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved