Japan Post announced at the end of December 2013 that it is no longer possible to add Registered Mail to packages sent by Economy Airmail to the following countries:
We will of course continue to ship to these countries. But please be aware that if you choose Free or Economy shipping, you will not have a tracking code for the package. So we would advise customers in those countries to choose Airmail or Express.
A belated Happy New Year to all of our customers. 2013 was a good year for us and 2014, the Year of the Horse in the 12-year zodiac, is off to a galloping start. We’re seeing lots more orders than we did at this time last year, so that’s a good sign that things are starting to pick up in the global economy. And of course in our case the weakened Yen helps.
People here in Aichi prefecture have a reputation for liking things gaudy and expensive. So it was no surprise to see one jewelry store in Nagoya promoting its New Year sale with this ¥15 million ($150,000) full-size, gold-plated bronze horse. Although it’s modeled on an actual racehorse, that’s a lot to spend on a horse that’s not going to earn its keep by winning a steeplechase or two. If that’s too rich for your blood, Ginza Tanaka is also selling gold statuettes and oban (traditional oval coins) with a horse motif for a more moest ¥1.4-1.7 million ($14-17,000).
But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your year off to a golden start. Our store lineup now includes a gorgeous little gold Maneki Neko, or lucky beckoning cat. These figures are traditional placed in the entranceway of a home or business, where they beckon to new customers, friends or even lovers! And the gold symbolizes the fortune that is headed your way. A bargain for just $25.95.
Following an expose by the highly regarded Environmental Investigation Agency of whale and cetacean products sold through Amazon Japan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon Inc, we here at Japan Store have decided to no longer purchase anything from Amazon until the company imposes a ban on such products.
Not only do we object in principle to the sale of such products and the unnecessary hunting of dolphins, whales and other cetaceans, but scientific analysis of the meat being sold reveals that it consistently contains levels of toxins far exceeding the safe levels dictated by the Japanese government. And these products often contain meat from endangered and protected cetacean species, or meat that is not specifically identified and is likely to be dolphin or porpoise.
I should mention that unfortunately Rakuten also has thousands of listings for whale and cetacean food products – almost 2,800 if you search for 鯨 (whale) and almost 1,200 if you search for 鯨肉 (whale meat). While Japan Store is not affiliated with Rakuten, we do source some of our products there and a boycott of the service would have a serious impact on the operation of this store.
And for the record, Yahoo! Japan also sells these products.
Owner, Japan Store
Update: It’s only been half a day since I posted this blog entry and the news just came in – Amazon Japan have removed all whale and whale-related food products from their online store. It remains to be seen if this will be a permanent move and whether Amazon Japan will issue a formal policy statement. But still, wow! Social media pressure rocks!