First it was European infant formula, then New Zealand milk. Now Chinese consumers are adding Japanese rice to the list of everyday foods they will bring in from abroad at luxury-good prices because they fear the local alternatives aren’t safe.
The volume of rice imported from China remains small – 160 tonnes last year, according to Japan’s National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations.
But that is more than triple the total in 2013, a trend that illustrates Chinese consumers’ dwindling confidence in the safety of the country’s own agricultural produce.
I – Word Understanding
tonne – unit of measurement which equals to 1,000 kilograms or 2,204 pounds
dwindling – decreasing gradually in amount, size or strength
II – Have Your Say
1. This year, many Chinese shoppers flock to Japan for toilet seats. What’s so special with Japanese toilet seats?
2. Despite Sino-Japanese relations being placed under the controversy spotlight, Japanese Tourism data shows healthy cultural relations with China, with 2.5 million Chinese visitors from Jan to Nov 2014 and Japan being ranked as their #1 travel destination.
3. Despite globalization, Japan continues to be the source of truly different products. Can you recommend some unique Japanese products?