Local producers have expressed disappointment at the appearance of souvenir products especially created for the Hiroshima G7 Summit on online shopping flea market sites.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared around 3,500 “Summit Bags” which were distributed to delegates of each participating country and members of the press at the International Media Center set up in “Green Arena” Hiroshima Prefectural Gymnasium.
The Summmit Bags manufactured in Fukuyama are made from high quality Bingo denim and came with several other items that included notepads made from recycled orizuru paper cranes and towels compressed into the shape of peace doves.
According to the G7 website
The Summit Bag made of Bingo denim fabric from Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, is woven and sewn by master craftspeople in the Summit host region of Hiroshima. Bingo is the name of a pre-Meiji administrative region that covered the eastern part of today’s Hiroshima Prefecture, including Fukuyama.
Contents of the bag were selected to convey the appeals of Hiroshima and other parts of Japan, and includes environment-friendly goods using as little plastic as possible, and stationeries that can be used by the delegations and the press during the Summit.
One of the Fukuyama companies involved in the manufacture of bags lamented, “We hoped to make people aware of the culture of the Bingo region, and this is an act that disrespects on our intentions.”
As of March 25, we found a Summit Bag for sale, along with other items of G7 swag, on Merikari at a price of for ¥49,000.
Chugoku Shinbun reports that the bags were made by seven companies in Fukuyama City using three types of denim (black, a fabric woven with Japanese paper threads, and a traditional sashiko-style pattern) to highlight the city as a center of production.
The president of Shinohara Textiles, one of the companies involved, noted that some of the products were for sale online even before the summit finished and hopes that people will refrain from buying them.
May 25, 2023