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Japan diaper shortage blames on sales tax and China

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Japanese parents are not very happy these days thanks to a shortage of Merrie Brand diapers that have not only left store shelves bare, as well as their babies’ bottoms.

Although well known for its low birthrate, Japanese consumers are facing stiff competition from their Chinese counterparts who are willing to pay more than double according to diaper brokers who claim that “Japan Merries can fetch the equivalent of as much as $27 in China, compared with about $13 in Japan.”

"We have Chinese customers buying packages of Merries, and even when we set a one-package-per-person limit, they come back again to buy more," Koji Toyama, a Papasu drugstore employee, told reporters a week ago.

The situation has been made worse by the Japanese government, itself, which raised the country’s sales tax from 5% to 8% as of midnight today that is putting an added strain on consumers’ pocketbooks, but is also hurting the diaper brokers along with increased gasoline and shipping costs.

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