TOKYO – The Japanese government is calling on its citizens to prepare for the worst-case scenario, should a major disaster hit the quake-prone archipelago: Stockpile toilet paper.
The industry ministry has launched a public awareness campaign ahead of the September 1 national Disaster Prevention Day, reminding citizens to have enough emergency supplies of food and sanitary products to survive the aftermath of a major earthquake.
“Be prepared and have no regrets,” the ministry said that in a statement, as it advertised a special exhibit on disaster preparedness to be held in its downtown Tokyo building.
“At times of major disasters, like huge earthquake, an insufficient number of useable toilets always become a problem,” it said, adding that a toilet paper shortage compounds the issue.
In the wake of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami disaster of March 2011, Japan experienced a shortage of many things including toilet paper, as families hoarded everything from water to gasoline, emptying store shelves even in areas relatively unharmed by the natural disaster.