Why Japanese stores are booming in the Philippines

As we all know, Japan colonized the Philippines for almost four years. History-wise it devastated the Philippines by uncontrollably annihilating our green fields to bring supplies to their country. Aside from that, it is also unforgettable how sexually deprived were these Japanese-inmates-turn-soldiers when they would just abduct Filipinas and make them their comfort women. They succeeded in pillaging the innocence of these young Filipinas by taking turns on raping them. However, I think, being sieged by three different countries of different races. Filipinos have adapted to their presence, and without these countries obligating Filipinos to patronize their goods, Filipinos just ended up doing it. Now without any guns pointed at them, just their free will.

We are in that generation wherein we are obsessed with having a lot of material things, yet spending so little on it. Forget about the quality, as long as it’s new and pleasing before our eyes, we grab it and hand the Osmeñas or Ninoys from our wallet. After all, we would just like to feel how it is to have new things, and soon we’ll get tired of it then eventually we will even forget where we last placed it. It was a trend having bantam and chromatic chopsticks, sets of colorful pens, or revolutionized ice cube trays with bizarre shapes, which only costs Php88 or Php66. As a buyer trying to be practical in the life of exiguity, I would, guiltily, always look for Japan’s alternative products first before I choose other commercial products.

This is one of the tactics Japan Homes used, it gave the people an illusion that everything is cheap. May it be as big as a casserole, or small as a toothpick, it’s just below Php100. May it be few like one round metal lunch box (or bento), or many like Assorted 10-pcs-pen, it’s just below Php100. The mirage given by these Japanese stores were useful on the Filipinos that’s why these stores kept on multiplying in the last years.

Japan Home Centre established itself in the year 2004 at Market Market, Bonifacio Global City. From 15 branches at the same year, it grew to 100 in 2012. Japan Homes introduced 100 Yen shop or hyaku-en shoppu in the Philippines with the concept of Php88 for all products, and Php66 for some products. Aside for Japan Home Centre, there is also other Php88 Japan Store concept around the Philippines, to name a few these are Daiso and the local Japan surplus.

Also, Filipinos already have an idea that products that are “made in China” are of low quality. So, if it is from other countries, it’s of high quality. I have nothing to say about the quality of Japan products from Japan Homes because their dinner wares are constituted with a strong ceramic segment which makes them invulnerable to sudden breaking when dropped. But, there are also products that failed the quality test. One time, I was at Daiso planning to buy 5 inches long universal charger which you can plug into your powerbank. But they have to try almost 20 boxes before they found something that works. Imagine if I didn’t ask them to test the product? Imagine if I didn’t insist on all cords of the universal charger be checked? My Php88 might have been put to waste!

I know that Japan Homes and other Japan stores are job generating industries for a lot of Filipinos. So, this is not only about reminding Filipinos that we are no longer under Japanese occupations. Hence, we can stop patronizing Japanese products instead of ours.

This also for all Filipino local companies that probably they should start innovating their products, investing in machinery, and indulge on new ideas from the new generations. They should try to learn from the strategies of international companies and apply it to their businesses so that Philippines can be at pace with the other companies globally. After all, it’s 2016, and Philippines has a different battle cry than what she had during the 1900’s.

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3 thoughts on “Why Japanese stores are booming in the Philippines

  1. Each nation is trying to emerge as a superpower or a hegemon, be it USA or Japan, or China. Each has our markets flooding with their products ( I live in India,by the way). This is called the soft power of the hegemons, to capture our markets.

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    • Yes I agree with that, but can’t we catch up with their pace and join the market as well? After all, they wouldn’t be a hegemon if not because of their ancestors’ exploitation of our goods.

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      • yes but that was a long time back, at least our country had enough time to build a market in its own country for its products, but it failed miserably owing to bad policies.

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