Popularity of Japanese toilet seats overstated

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-2-26 0:28:01

Some Japanese media outlets reported that Chinese tourists spent 6 billion yuan ($959.4 million) in the country during this year's Spring Festival holidays. Chinese consumers apparently swamped Japanese stores to buy bidet toilet seats. Such news makes a mockery of China's boycott of Japanese goods over the past two years. Some Chinese people feel ashamed about this and have criticized their compatriots' obsession with foreign goods.

These Japanese toilet seats surprisingly became an issue in China recently. It appears to boost "Made in Japan" goods while abasing Chinese products. At the same time, it is almost an advertisement for Japanese toilet seats.

That Chinese tourists swamp Japanese stores at a time when the country is facing a sluggish domestic demand is certainly not something to be proud of. The popularity of Japanese toilet seats is not accidental as they explicitly show the human touch, intelligent design and sophistication of Japanese goods.

Objectively speaking, there is a huge gap between "Made in Japan" and "Made in China" products. The gap is both a driving force and a potential area for expansion for "Made in China" items.

Japan used to dominate the global household electrical appliance market, but now consumers only recognize its toilet seats or rice cookers, which demonstrates the regression of its industry. The growing popularity of Chinese household electrical appliances has gradually squeezed the sphere which used to be taken up by "Made in Japan" goods.

"Made in China" products have made more achievements than expected. They have been successful when even Chinese people didn't count on their prosperity and when they faced huge pressure from global competition. On this basis, we should have more confidence in the future of "Made in China" goods.

World-class toilet seats are not what Chinese manufacturers aspire to make. "Made in China" goods must aim for higher goals. Rising countries all started by imitating others, but true success only comes from transcending.

Chinese people who choose to shop abroad shouldn't be blamed. In the era of globalization, consumers' choices will decide everything. Nobody believes that a manufacturing powerhouse can be sustained through patriotic shopping or resisting foreign goods. The overall strength and image of Chinese-made goods still need time to grow. Nevertheless, those who support domestic goods are commendable, especially if there is no significant difference in price, quality and performance.

Countries are struggling for their favorable position in the cruel competition of globalization. Contention between Chinese and Japanese manufacturers will provide a powerful impetus to both sides.

Posted in: Editorial

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