Hello Kitty must be blushing like crazy after several journalism students visiting Sanrio World in the Ginza district of Tokyo pointed out that several products on display at the flagship store were actually made in China, despite the sign saying they were manufactured locally. Sanrio Co. said they are now checking out their products at outlet stores to ensure that their country of manufacture are properly labeled.
A Chinese student and her classmates from Waseda University discovered during their visits between November and January that some of the products on display at the store had tags in English saying they were made in China. This was despite the huge signs at the shelves saying they were manufactured in Japan. They said that some of the products, including tote bags and umbrellas, even had price seals that were seemingly positioned to hide the “Made in China” tag. The manager at the shop said that this was unintentional and was a result of a misunderstanding by the sales clerk. An official from Sanrio said that the Chinese products were mixed with the Japanese-manufactured ones but that this was just an inadvertent mistake. They also said that they immediately righted the error and even gave instructions to its 220 other outlets to avoid a similar situation in their displays.
According to an official from the Consumer Affairs Agency, this is may be problematic as there is a law that prohibits misleading signs that can confuse consumers trying to purchase a product. However, he said that “Whether the act constitutes a violation of the law depends on the individual case.” Tourists enjoy buying Made in Japan products when they visit shopping areas like Tokyo’s Ginza ward, and Chinese tourists in particular are very picky about buying those that are not manufactured in their homeland.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]