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March 2006

CLEAN AGE Summary


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No. 23 (March 2006)

Inside of this issue
1. New Chairman's Greeting
2. 5th ASDAC Meeting Held in Tokyo
3. The 49th Clean Survey


1. New Chairman's Greeting
Addressing All Issues Appropriately

JSDA Chairman Sadayoshi Fujishige, President, Lion Corporation
It's a great honor that I was appointed as the 18th Chairman of the Japan Soap and Detergent Association (JSDA), an organization with a rich tradition and history, and I feel a great responsibility upon undertaking this role.

In 2004, the soap and detergent industry surpassed its achievements of the previous year - 101% of shipments by volume and 102% of shipments by value. Even so, society is always changing, and this industry must be ready to respond appropriately to a number of such changes. There are two major themes we must address this fiscal year.

The first is making the 5th ASDAC International Meeting, to be held August 31 and September 1, a success. ASDAC meetings have been held once every two years, and this time the JSDA is the sponsoring organization. The meeting will be held in Tokyo, and the record eight groups will participate.

The second is putting priority over the global environment over all else. There are a number of international issues involved here, including managing chemicals, responding to the GHS initiative, and controlling global warming gas emissions.

Since our industry manunacturers' products contain chemicals, we must fully understand new regulations and their direction in order to have a sustainable society. We must devote further research efforts to understand how our chemical agents impact people and the environment, and ensure the safety of both.

We are continuing our strong collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and related groups, including overseas groups, on the introduction of GHS. We must make sure our thoughts about the introduction of GHS and the introduction process are consistent, not only with European and North American countries, but also with all ASDAC member countries and areas. We plan to hold a meeting on GHS during the 5th ASDAC.

The goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 8.6% from 1990 levels by 2012, requested by the Japanese Government, will be extremely difficult to meet. JSDA member companies are already working hard to reduce CO2 emissions, but our industry must strive even harder to achieve overall domestic industry's goal.

Our position is that it is important to not be forced to make reductions, but rather to voluntarily embrace changes with the world we are leaving to our grandchildren in mind.

JSDA actively shares the results of its research and survey activities related to environmental protection, which is very useful for raising proper awareness of its products. We are also involved in actively promoting social activities such as the Clean Campaign.
Every day, JSDA member companies are working to reach solutions in producing safe and reliable, environmentally friendly, and high value-added products for consumers and the society.


2. 5th ASDAC Meeting Held in Tokyo

ASDAC, which began among Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, held its fifth meeting recently with the aim of deepening ties with other Asian soap and detergent industries.

The meeting was held August 31 and September 1 at the Japan Toshi Center in Tokyo with more participant countries and areas than ever before. Representatives from eight countries and areas attended - China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan. Guests from the SDA in the U.S. and the AISE in the EU also came, as well as observers from ACCORD in Australia and OTAI in India. The meeting was a great success.

This event was possible through the cooperation of JSDA members and patrons as well as groups and universities that helped set up the booths and posters in the exhibit area. Over 700 participants attended the meeting over two days. There were nearly 30 participants from China, an indication of that country's explosive economic growth.

Poster Exhibition Booth Exhibition


At the last conference held in Beijing, then-JSDA Chairman Uno proposed elevating the ASDAC meeting from an opportunity for relationship building and information exchange to an international conference to discuss common issues and interests. This conference was planned with that in mind, and each participating country submitted reports and participated in meetings with various set themes.

This conference was held with the support of METI, and the director of Fine Chemicals Office of METI opened with a speech on the overall direction of chemical products. Next, the Chairman of SDA, in his speech, adamantly reinforced that the safety of consumer products should be risk-based. Thereafter, the AISE representative remarked that the EU Directive on chemicals currently being explored (REACH) would soon become a basis for future chemical management in Europe, and she expressed confidence that it would be embraced by other countries as well.

In this context, there were many common issues calling for the collaboration of the industry and the world in order to build a sustainable society. Each group delivered a presentation based on awareness of these issues. JSDA members became instructors at seminars on detergent risk management, laundry and detergent trends, and the role of detergent and its proper usage in order to share information on recent industry trends in Japan and their relevance both domestically and abroad.

JSDA is continuing its efforts to develop a guidance document of GHS, a global issue, for other Asian countries to use.

The representatives of the ASDAC participant member groups released the agreement document signed at the joint press conference following the close of the conference. The agreement recognized various issues such as the shared understanding of the inherent needs of each individual Asian country and market trends, promoting unified standards despite differing regulations, global trends in chemical management, and the pursuit of sustainable growth capitalizing on the characteristics of various regions.

The next meeting will be held in 2007 in South Korea.


3. The 49th Clean Survey
Awareness of Sanitation Practices during Overseas Travel: Women in their 20's and 30's

Our Clean Survey, which covers lifestyle cleanliness, this time addressed active women's awareness of sanitation and beauty during overseas travel. The survey was conducted in March 2005.
The survey respondents were 50 women in their 20's and 50 women in their 30's, for a total of 100 women, who live in the Tokyo region and who have traveled to a nearby country in the last year.

We asked them questions about their awareness of sanitation and beauty issues when traveling abroad and details about their practices. Here, we cover the main sanitation points.
This survey is limited to travelers to the Pacific Region (Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan) and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam).
Sixteen percent of respondents had traveled overseas six or more times in the past three years.
Young women show an unflagging interest in traveling overseas. Seventy-two percent of our survey respondents had traveled overseas (not only the Pacific Region and Southeast Asia) three or more times over the past three years. Sixteen percent had traveled overseas six or more times over the past three years -- an average of at least two times a year. The respondents had traveled overseas an average of 3.8 times over the past three years for an average of more than one time every year.
How did the survey respondents feel about overseas travel - in particular sanitation - and what were their practices?

Concern about sanitation environments
Nine-tenths of respondents answered in the affirmative - either 'I strongly agree' or 'I somewhat agree' - to two statements, 'I believe Japan is a sanitary country' and 'In order to experience the culture of a foreign country, I must put up with its sanitary conditions.'
The response to the following statement was also highly positive: 'I want to use my usual personal and beauty products even while traveling overseas.'
Eighty percent of respondents affirmed the statements, 'I am more aware of sanitation issues when I travel abroad than I am here at home' and 'I am aware of relevant contagious diseases and diseases when I choose a travel destination.' On the other hand, only 20% of respondents affirmed the statements, 'I don't pay special attention to sanitation conditions simply because I am overseas.' Our survey shows that travelers have become more aware of changes in sanitation conditions in recent years, a reflection of such events as the outbreak of SARS and bird flu. (See Graph 1.)

Graph 1
Graph 1


Ninety-two percent of respondents do not drink tap water overseas
Many respondents who normally are not aware of the sanitary environment are more aware when they go abroad.
They are most concerned with drinking water. Ninety-two percent of respondents replied they do not drink tap water overseas, out of concern for sanitation and health. Seventy-two percent reported they carry nonprescription medicines, and approximately 40% report getting sufficient sleep, controlling the air temperature in their lodgings, and choosing clean places to eat.
Our survey divided the travel destinations into two regions, the Pacific Region and Southeast Asia. Though the top two hygiene practices were the same for both regions, respondents varied in other practices taken in the two regions. Visitors to the Pacific Region reported taking care to get sufficient sleep and controlling air temperature in lodgings, while tourists to Southeast Asia were careful to avoid eating raw foods (fish and seafood) and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Please see Graph 2.

Graph 2
Graph 2


Careful checks before travel
Many respondents check the sanitation conditions of the countries they visit and the facilities of the hotels at which they stay before departing.
Nearly 40% of respondents reported checking items as: 1) availability of hair dryers in hotel or lodgings; 2) availability of shampoo, hair rinses, and soap in hotels or lodgings; 3) potability of tap water; 4) availability of bathtub in hotel or lodgings.
Visitors to Southeast Asia tended to confirm sanitation conditions more than visitors to Pacific Regions. Frequent travelers benefited from experience and were not so diligent about confirming hotel and lodging facilities, but travelers in their 20's and those who had traveled abroad less than three times had a high rate of confirming such questions as: 1) availability of shampoo, hair rinses, and soap in hotels and lodgings; 2) potability of tap water; 3) availability of showers in hotels and lodgings; 4) information about contagious diseases; and 5) the necessity of preventative shots for disease.
Travelers reported carrying combination stomach medicines, combination cold remedies, and bandages most often when they traveled. Visitors to Southeast Asia more frequently took diarrhea medicines and bug repellants with them than visitors to the Pacific Region.

This survey has shown that our respondents are eager to enjoy their visits to foreign lands as much as possible and are careful about safety and sanitation in those places.


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