Vending Machines In Japan- Ethical Dilemmas Essay

1508 WordsFeb 15, 20127 Pages
Vending Machines in Japan- Ethical Dilemmas With the growing popularity and use of vending machines in Japan, there are also controversies that arise from an ethical standpoint. The first, being the, most documented is the products that are available and the impact they have on Japan’s traditional culture. The top two “to ban or not to ban” products are cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. In contrast to the subtle advertisements allowed in the United States; Japan Tobacco, the world’s number three cigarette maker has chosen to target its market to young adults. Through its focused campaigns and the use of vending machines, JT has opted to boost its tobacco sales with its mainstay product, Mild Seven Cigarettes. In and interview in September 2007, JT’s President Hiroshi Kimura said, “Our market share had been sliding little by little since the firm was privatized in 1985, and this was the first rise in six terms on a half-year basis. We are hoping to achieve growth for the full year as well. I believe our marketing campaign targeting young adults to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of our mainstay Mild Seven brand has begun to bear fruit.” (Anna, 2008) As a business, JT has a right to grow in it’s marketing and production. The dilemma is, at what cost beyond financial risks? In their quest to increase their empire, JT’s strategy is in direct opposition of Japan’s goal to combat underage smoking with the use of ID cards. What is even more ironic is that, Japan is also considering lowering the age of adulthood from 20 to 18. This questions whether or not Japan really wants to combat underage smoking at all. “The latest studies show that 42% of boys and 27% of 3rd year high school students have experienced smoking before.” (Anna, 2008) The ID solution is nothing more than a technological honor system. Only holders of Taspo IC cards, issued free by

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