Japan: Anti-freeze Toothpaste and Toxic Thomas

Across the world — from the U.S. to the U.K., from Panama to Vietnam — Chinese goods have been drawing attention in the news and in blogs lately, and Japan has been no exception. Last week, reports emerged that two Japanese companies were recalling thousands of Chinese toothpaste products sold to hotels across the country after the health ministry reported finding that they contained chemicals used in anti-freeze. At the same time, Sony announced that it was recalling 43,000 “Thomas the Tank Engine” wooden toys, which were found to be covered in paint with excessive levels of lead. As elsewhere in the world, fears among Japanese people about Chinese products — and particularly about Chinese food — have been increasing as cases such as these come to light.

Thomas the Tank Engine Screenshot

Thomas the Tank Engine, from Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends TV Series

Blogger kyasupaa writes:


とりあえず、何でも入れとけや( ゚Д゚)ドルァ!!

みたいな感じで作ってんだろうねヾ(ーー )ォィ

死人が出るね、こりゃ┐( ̄ヘ ̄)┌

What on Earth is happening with the product standards in China
Doesn't seem like there are standards at all

For now, just put anything in there ( ゚Д゚)ドルァ!!

That's how it seems that they're making things ヾ(ーー )ォィ

If Chinese goods are not treated with suspicion
Then the deaths will continue, like this: ┐( ̄ヘ ̄)┌

Blogger chocoto writes about the Thomas the Tank Engine toys:



I was watching the news last yesterday and there was something about a voluntary recall on wooden Thomas [the Tank Engine toys] due to a defect.

What? China, what on the Earth…
Recently there have been a lot of these cases.
I was able to laugh about the case of the pseudo-Disneyland, but with this kind of thing, I really can't.
Toys for children, aren't these the things for which safety has to be given the most attention?
These wooden Thomas [the Tank Engine toys], there's really a lot of them floating around.
We do have them right in our home as well.
I got concerned about it, did check of the homepage, and
yes. Sure enough, we have the one in question.
It's the basic set.
I explained to my boy that: “The condition of the wheels is not very good, so let me fix it for you,” but it will apparently only be returned in September.
I'm sure that the boy has forgotten of the existence of the train that was sent for repairs.

All of you as well, if you have a wooden Thomas [the Tank Engine toy] you should make sure and check.

In a post called “Dangers everywhere” (危険がいっぱい), blogger Penginmama writes:


In America, pet food leading to the death of pets.
In Panama, cold medication that led to a large number of deaths.
Next, overseas, they were talking about the horrible dangers of
toothpaste containing the toxic chemical diethylene glycol.
They're saying that it entered Japan as well,
but finally, from the 15th [of June], the contractor started to get moving on a recall
The importer must have known that they were importing this toothpaste,
so what were they doing up until now?
While the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare is saying that:
“If you are using it [the toothpaste] at a normal rate, there will be no health hazards,”
they are also saying: “People who are using it should stop.”
Isn't this a bit strange?


On the same day,
there was talk about the dangers of a coating compound used on toys imported from China,
and the company that was importing [the toys] is apparently recalling them.
A child can carry anything they are holding in their hands and put it into their mouth…
Toys are no exception…
It's really a frightening story.


Then next,
Japanese media isn't covering this, but
ten different types of clothing carried at Chinese supermarkets
apparently contained carcinogenic materials.
I'm not sure if Japan was importing this [clothing], but even so,
[it seems that even in the case of] things that you don't put in your mouth, Chinese goods are really dangerous!


It seems that is being reported on in Japan is only a very small part [of what's going on].
But even with only this small part being reported on,
and even in the case of people without access to the Internet, anybody can understand the dangers involved in goods produced in China.
I hope that more people stop buying Chinese goods.

Finally, another blogger writes:


….so terrible, it's just too terrible.
Right now, all around us, we are being flooded by goods made in China.
100 yen shops sell almost 100% Chinese goods, a very large part of the ingredients of food served at family restaurant [chains] also comes from China, as well as the ingredients of frozen goods, and bargain-priced goods at supermarkets are also from China.
More than anything, this is because the cost of procuring these goods is cheap.


But in reality, this is the kind of things they are.
It's so terrible that I can't buy toys for my child. I am so worried that I can't eat out at restaurants either. Of course, when shopping at a supermarket, I make sure to check if [products are] from China, but even so if they were packaged to make them look as if they come from some region [in Japan], then that doesn't make any difference.
Other than China, no other country that we import from has produced goods with such horrible toxins, have they?


But then why has the media not broadcast these facts to any extensive degree? I mean, this is at the level that there should be a boycott. [This despite the fact that it at the point now where a boycott would be best.] For this reason, I can only imagine there must be a great amount of pressure being exerted [in relation to coverage of] this problem. The result will be that personal profits will be prioritized over the safety of citizens.


The Beijing Olympics are to be held, and if China, under an illusion, raises the prices of its products, then eventually the merits of importing products from China will also greatly decrease. Above all, the real China will be exposed to the world, and I guess that there will be a lot of talk about all these things that we have never seen or heard of. In that sense, I am really excited about it.



I hope that people who are reading this will tell other poeple around them who don't have access to the internet about the reality, so that dangers will be reduced bit by bit…

By the way, in my household, Chinese goods are prohibited.

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