JIN-317 -- -1: Pampered Pets -2: China's Anti-Japanese Tantrum

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T H E J @ P A N I N C N E W S L E T T E R

Commentary on the Week's Business, Technology and Cultural News
Issue No. 317
Wednesday April 12, 2005 TOKYO
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-1: Pampered Pets
++ A Halt to Halitosis
++ The Centenarian Canine's Best Friend

-2: China's Anti-Japanese Tantrum

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-1: Pampered Pets
++ A Halt to Halitosis

A survey by Uni Charm Pet Care disclosed that nearly 70 percent
of dog owners keep pooch indoors. Not surprisingly, owners want
to provide them with healthcare befitting family members under the
same roof. Pet accessory makers are obliging with a succession of
products on par with those for humans.

There is, to be sure, a downside to keeping pooch or puss indoors.
For one thing, they can't be be expected to brush their teeth. Thus
many owners have come to be bothered by previously unnoticed odors,
such as halitosis. Lion Co., a well-known toothpaste maker, sniffed a
market opportunity and brought out "Pet Kiss," which prevents bad
breath in dogs and cats. There are two "Pet Kiss" products -- a spray
that inhibits propagation of odor-causing bacteria and a "Toothpaste
shee" that cleans teeth. It prevents not only bad breath but also gum
disease, a common affliction of dogs and cats.
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++ The Centenarian Canine's Best Friend

Earth Biochemical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.,
has come out with a canine shampoo, "Happy Pet." The shampoo is rich
in ingredients for preserving the luster of an old dog's fur and for protecting
the sensitive skin of a Chihuahua.

There is a litter of innovative products, including Marukan Co.'s sheet for the
exclusive use of dogs indoors. Antowa Bridal, a wedding chapel specialist,
will begin making pet formal wear to order. Presumably even house pets step
out on occasion.

There is also a pack of new healthcare-related products for pets. Uni Charm
Pet Care launched this spring the Uni Charm Pet Care supplement series,
which contains glucosamine and chondroitin, human supplement ingredients
reputed to alleviate pain in joints.

Lion has developed for dogs a jelly laced with coenzyme-Q-10, which is said
to slow the aging process. The jelly also contains seven vitamins, perhaps
making it the centenarian canine's best friend.

The pet accessories market, already worth about 4 billion yen, is showing
double digit growth year on year.

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-2: China's Anti-Japanese Tantrum

The anti-Japanese demonstrations sweeping China have several
causes including alleged whitewashing of the Japanese actions
during the Second World War, the dispute over the Senkaku Islands,
Prime Minister Koizumi's repeated visits to nationalist symbol
Yasukuni Shrine, and opposition to Japan's application for a
permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Japan is partly to blame, since Koizumi, through his Yasukuni
pilgrimages, has chosen to play to the conservative wing of his party
at the expense of relations with Asian neighbors. As well, that the
government would want to play down the history of comfort women is not
surprising. Prostitution, forced or otherwise, is not a subject for
schoolchildren. But the government makes itself vulnerable to charges of
textbook censorship by adhering to a system of centralized bureaucratic
review. Textbooks with the government imprimatur are the government's
responsibility. Devolve the review process to the prefectures or even the
municipalities and the resulting mishmash of textbooks would no longer
represent a seemingly unified view on Japanese wartime behavior in China,
but disparate regional views -- in other words, the many voices of the
people in a democracy. Unfortunately, such devolution will not occur
anytime soon.

China, as a permanent Security Council member, would seem to be the
key to Japan's joining that body. The demonstrations, with the obvious
connivance of the Chinese Government (police watched as demonstrators
stoned the Japanese Embassy), may be intended to highlight Japan's
wartime past in an effort to undermine Japan's accession to the council.

Chinese behavior is unfortunate. Japan, through generous overseas
development assistance and participation in peacekeeping operations,
contributions in the arts and in science and technology, has proven itself
a responsible and important nation -- a nation that could help bring
regional balance to a Security Council including only one non-Western
country, a war-renouncing nation and atomic-bomb vicitim that would
bring an important perspective to the world body.

If Tokyo's application is rejected, the Japanese have their PM and the
Chinese to blame.

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SUBSCRIBERS: 27,187 as of April 12, 2005

Written and edited by Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)


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