Japanese condom-makers concern anticlimax over followers at Video games-Sports activities Information , Alenz

Japanese condom-makers concern anticlimax over followers at Video games-Sports activities Information , Alenz

Because the 1988 Seoul Video games, a whole bunch of 1000’s of free condoms have been distributed on the Olympics, to encourage protected intercourse because the world’s elite athletes mingle at shut quarters.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Japanese condom-makers fear anticlimax over fans at Games

Japanese condom makers had anticipated a increase in gross sales resulting from Tokyo Olympics and inflow of overseas guests. AFP

For Japanese condom makers, the Olympics was imagined to be a golden alternative, with hordes of keen vacationers and tens of 1000’s of their revolutionary, ultra-thin prophylactics given to athletes.

However a ban on abroad followers, strict virus guidelines, and laws stopping the distribution of their premium condoms to opponents have left producers deflated.

Because the 1988 Seoul Video games, a whole bunch of 1000’s of free condoms have been distributed on the Olympics, to encourage protected intercourse because the world’s elite athletes mingle at shut quarters.

Whereas organisers are nonetheless anticipated handy out 160,000 on the pandemic-postponed Video games, which begin subsequent month, virus guidelines ought to restrict interplay within the Olympic Village.

The rulebook for athletes particularly warns them to “keep away from pointless types of bodily contact”, leaving some questioning why condoms are being distributed in any respect.

The plan to offer them out “is one thing I simply can’t comprehend”, tweeted Ken Noguchi, a Japanese mountaineer and environmental activist.

Video games organisers say distributing condoms is supposed to boost consciousness about HIV/AIDS, and that the Worldwide Olympic Committee has requested for the handouts to proceed this 12 months, regardless of the pandemic.

“The distributed condoms are usually not meant for use on the Olympic Village,” the organising committee informed AFP.

As an alternative they’re imagined to be “introduced again by athletes to their respective dwelling international locations and to assist them assist the marketing campaign to boost consciousness”, they added.

Whereas the distribution goes forward, there is a wrinkle for producers: a ban on their prized mannequin, condoms which might be simply 0.01mm thick.

Onerous instances

As quickly as Tokyo was named 2020 host, Japanese condom companies thrust forward with their manufacturing to make sure most protection in time for the Video games.

Now it seems the producers can solely distribute their latex-based condoms, whereas the ultra-thin fashions are made from polyurethane, in accordance with the Japan Condoms Industrial Affiliation.

“Once I realized concerning the requirement, I assumed, ‘Oh my God… can that be proper?” an business supply informed AFP.

“We had actually counted on having the ability to provide these (ultra-thin) ones.”

It is a far cry from the heady pleasure within the run-up to the Video games earlier than they have been postponed final 12 months.

In 2018, main condom-maker Sagami Rubber Industries opened a brand new manufacturing unit in Malaysia to fulfill the anticipated rise in demand.

“It is solely Japanese firms that now manufacture condoms as skinny as 0.01-0.02mm,” spokesman Hiroshi Yamashita informed AFP on the time.

“We see (the Tokyo Video games) as a particularly valuable alternative to let the world find out about Japan’s excessive know-how.”

The pandemic has introduced on exhausting instances, with Japan’s borders successfully closed to vacationers and Olympic organisers barring abroad spectators for the primary time in historical past.

In Tokyo’s quirky Harajuku and bustling Shibuya neighbourhoods, the Condomania boutiques managed by Koji Negishi normally appeal to massive numbers of vacationers.

However “overseas vacationers have mainly disappeared from this space, in comparison with 2019”, he informed AFP.

Negishi’s outlets inventory quite a lot of merchandise supposed to enchantment to guests, starting from the famed barely-there prophylactics to souvenirs printed with iconic Ukiyoe woodblock prints, just like the “Nice Wave” with Mount Fuji within the background.

“Those which might be designed as souvenirs do not promote in any respect,” Negishi mentioned mournfully.

“Now our store is staying afloat because of common clients from the neighbourhood,” he added.

Nevertheless, virus restrictions in Tokyo have additionally lowered the variety of Japanese clients.

An business supply mentioned home tastes seem to favour condoms with additional lubricant, moderately than the ultra-thin type.

“From a protected intercourse perspective, what we wish is folks utilizing any condom, moderately than none,” he mentioned.

“So on the finish of the day, no matter folks select as a result of it feels good to them is an efficient factor to us.”

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