The Japanese government has launched a new campaign to make sure civilians stockpile a critical emergency item: toilet paper. Translation: Prepare for the shit. Before it hits the fan.
The government and paper companies kicked off a “Let’s stockpile toilet paper!” campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day. Apparently a lack of TP during a national emergency is a legitimate concern in Japan. The campaign warns of a possible toilet paper crisis because nearly half of the TP supply comes from one of Japan’s most earthquake-prone areas and it’s one of the first items to fly off the shelves during an emergency.
Officials said people immediately think of food and water as emergency supplies, but easily forget toilet paper, and get desperate when it’s too late.
“After running out of toilet paper, people start using tissue, and that could clog up precious workable toilets,” said Toshiyuki Hashimoto, an industry ministry official in charge of paper products.
“Along with food, toilet paper was among the first items that disappeared from store shelves during the disaster, even outside disaster-hit areas,” he continued.
So to avoid panic later, start stockpiling toilet paper now! You don’t want to be without a hefty roll of TP when an earthquake causes you to crap your pants. As the campaign posters say, “Be prepared and no regrets!”
“Toilet paper is an indispensable part of daily life,” Satoshi Kurosaki, chairman of the Japan Household Paper Industry Association, said. “And yet 41 percent of the supply comes from the extremely high-risk zone. So we should be prepared.”
“A family of four should be able to survive for a month on a six-roll pack, priced at 460 yen ($4.40) and with a five-year expiration date,” Kurosaki said.
Wait, toilet paper has an expiration date…? And a family of 4 can survive on a pack of 6 rolls for a month…? What are they eating over there???
Unfortunately for some Japanese civilians, having an adequate TP stockpile to wipe their ass is the least of their earthquake problems. Four men employed to clean up the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant are suing Tokyo Electric Power and subcontractors for 65 million yen in unpaid hazard money. The Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was damaged in a March 2011 earthquake, resulted in reactor meltdowns and a contamination of the area. The men tasked with removing contaminated debris and patrolling the area say they have not been properly compensated for the dangers in their work and are worried about long term health problems. And that’s something a month’s supply of toilet paper can’t just wipe away.