Derrière Diplomacy: Chinese Consumers Swamp Japanese Toilet Stores – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Call it backdoor diplomacy. In what might be called a sign of easing tensions between China and Japan, Chinese shoppers have been flocking to their island neighbor in droves to snap up toilet seats.

Lest one should be inclined to pooh-pooh, these are not commodes of your grandmother’s variety. They aren’t even the simple single-stream sprays, which are to the bidet world what Neanderthals are to human evolution.

These bidet toilet seats are masterpieces of Japanese creativity and consideration, featuring warm water options, heated seats and the ability to kill germs and unwanted odors. News segments on the shopping frenzy shown on Chinese state television showed a Japanese store manager bemused by herds of Chinese tour groups who take just one afternoon to clean out, so to speak, his entire store. Price per bidet? Just 2,000 yuan ($320) a pop.

The Japanese have long been among the world’s finest purveyors of bidet sprays. In Japan, bidets have, if anything, an excess of features. China Real Time stayed in a Tokyo hotel last year that included a remote control, as if the designer believed its user could have been located somewhere beyond the immediate vicinity of the spray.

This being a Sino-Japan matter, even toilet seats carry political meaning. Perhaps in keeping with warmer bilateral ties, some of the commentary took a friendly tone.

via Derrière Diplomacy: Chinese Consumers Swamp Japanese Toilet Stores – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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