The Asian Age

Ja­pan be­gins toi­let pa­per cam­paign

- MARI YA­M­AGUCHI

A mes­sage Ja­pan be­gan de­liv­er­ing Mon­day is a bit un­usual, but true enough: Don’t wait un­til it’s too late to think about toi­let pa­per.

The gov­ern­ment and pa­per com­pa­nies kicked off a “Let’s stock­pile toi­let pa­per!” cam­paign to mark Dis­as­ter Preven­tion Day, warn­ing of a pos­si­ble cri­sis be­cause nearly half of the sup­ply comes from one of Ja­pan’s most earth- quake- prone ar­eas.

Of­fi­cials said peo­ple im­me­di­ately think of food and wa­ter as emer­gency sup­plies, but eas­ily for­get toi­let pa­per, and get des- per­ate when it’s too late.

“After run­ning out of toi­let pa­per, peo­ple start us­ing tis­sue, and that could clog up pre­cious work­able toi­lets,” said Toshiyuki Hashimoto, an in­dus­try min­istry of­fi­cial in charge of pa­per prod­ucts.

As part of the cam­paign, mak­ers are of­fer­ing a tightly rolled, 150- me­tre­long, sin­gle- layer toi­let pa­per that lasts more than twice as long as a reg­u­lar roll. A fam­ily of four should be able to sur­vive for a month on a six- roll pack, priced at 460 yen ($ 4.40) and with a five- year ex­pi­ra­tion date, said Satoshi Kurosaki, chair­man of the Ja­pan House­hold Pa­per In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion. Gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try of­fi­cials said 41 per cent of the coun­try’s toi­let pa­per sup­ply comes from Shizuoka pre­fec­ture in cen­tral Ja­pan, where ex­perts say there is a higher than 80 per cent chance of a ma­jor off­shore quake in the next 30 years. — AP

 ?? — AFP ?? Chil­dren at an el­e­men­tary school take cover un­der their desks dur­ing an earth­quake drill at a school in Tokyo on Mon­day.
— AFP Chil­dren at an el­e­men­tary school take cover un­der their desks dur­ing an earth­quake drill at a school in Tokyo on Mon­day.

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