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“Would you still choose Japanese skincare products?”: Trending hashtag on Chinese social media

Twelve years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in 2011, Japan was set to release treated radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean due to limited space to contain the waste. This raised concerns over safety issues revolving around potential contaminations of Japanese skincare and cosmetic products among Chinese netizens. In the 1st week of April, there has been a heated discussion on Chinese social media Weibo in terms of #Would you still choose Japanese skincare products?# (你还会选择日系护肤品吗?), viewed over 8.7 million times within one day.

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Radiation concerns: Japanese skincare products under scrutiny

Sina Skincare Tech Talk (新浪护肤科技说) conducted a poll in response to the International Atomic Energy Agency‘s (国际原子能机构) recent review of Japan’s plan to release treated water. As of July 5th, around 72.2% of the respondents chose not to take unnecessary risks because there are plenty of substitutes out there. Meanwhile, 16.6% of the respondents considered products that do not contain raw materials from the sea acceptable. Only 11.2% of them would continue using skincare products from Japan because they considered the radioactivity from the nuclear waste to have a very limited impact on the usage of the products.

Skincare safety concerns: public perceptions on Japan’s skincare products

“Many raw materials are imported, so from this point of view it is unnecessary (to worry).” A netizen from Beijing commented under the hashtag. “I don’t really use Japanese skincare products, but most of my makeup products are (from Japan). Do I have to change my makeup products?” Another netizen from Shandong said.

Navigating skincare choices amidst Japan’s treated water concerns

  • Japan’s plan to release treated radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown. This sparks worries among Chinese netizens about Japanese skincare product safety.
  • Sina Skincare Tech Talk poll reveals 72.2% of respondents prefer safer alternatives, while 16.6% find products without sea-sourced materials acceptable. Surprisingly, only 11.2% would continue using Japanese skincare products, believing minimal impact from nuclear waste.
  • The issue gains traction on Weibo with the hashtag #Would you still choose Japanese skincare products?# surpassing 8.7 million views in a day. This prompted mixed opinions from netizens on potential radiation exposure.