Thursday, January 10, 2008

Japanese Toy Recall over Labeling Taiwan on Globe

Well, I suppose I should be happy that for once in the news, a toy is being recalled for some reason other than Chinese-made lead paint.

Of course, the reason for this new toy recall is just as poisonous -- just not in a physical sense.

The short version: a Japanese toy company that makes toy globes for Japanese kids wanted to manufacture in China. The company wanted to label Taiwan on the globes simply as "Taiwan," but the Chinese refused to make the toys unless Taiwan was labeled "Taiwan Island" and as specifically part of "People's Republic of China."

Some globes were then made under these conditions, but now they are being recalled after the Japanese company received complaints. The company has issed an apology that says, and I quote, "Unfortunately we let cost considerations override sound judgment." How many other companies do this all the time?

Note: the globes were going to be sold only in Japan. Interestingly also, the complaints were not made by Taipei, so I think they were from unhappy Japanese customers.

You'll remember, of course, a similar flap over Google Maps and the name of Taiwan.

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