Short (or Convenient) Memory

In one of the more recent Japanese news language broadcasts was a finger-wagging piece of some mall in China that at first glance appears to market high-end goods(Hermes, Gucci, etc.), but on closer inspection  does not as the spelling of the famous brands were slightly altered.

Given post-war Japan’s commercial history, I found the holier than thou finger-wagging tone exceedingly rich and ironic.  For example, as in the 1950’s & early 1960’s ‘Made in Japan’ was associated here with shoddiness, a company exporting goods to the U.S. labeled its products, ‘Made in USA’, which was factually correct as the town in which the company had its manufacturing plant was called, USA (I believe it’s a town in Kyushu).

Likewise in either the 1960’s or the 1970’s  Playboy Magazine brought suit  against a girly magazine knock off, published in Japan, for copyright infringement and lost because while phonetically the Japanese version was pronounced the same, it marketed with a different spelling.

And then yesterday, yet another example.  In a news story about Prime Minster Abe departing for the G20 summit, I notice on the inboard side of the door of the state airplane, a plaque looking awfully similar to the Seal of the President of the United States, which hangs on the inboard side of the door in Air Force One.  As the scene of Abe boarding the Japanese state airplane (wonder what its called?) was shown over and over, I looked closely and saw the seal is for the Japanese air force.


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